Report a Security Incident

A computer security incident is any attempted or successful unauthorized access, disclosure, or misuse of computing systems, data or networks, including hacking and theft.

Reporting a computer security incident:

  • See box to the right for reporting methods -->
  • Report anything unusual. If it sets off a warning in your mind, it just may be a problem. Don’t ignore it!
  • Immediately report suspected security incidents and breaches to your supervisor and the ITS Support Center (see box to the right). Be sure to indicate whether sensitive information may be at risk.
  • If you think your computer has been compromised, or someone might be accessing your computer remotely, it is best if you can unplug the network cable (and turn your wireless off, if you have it) and leave the computer on until help arrives.

Theft of Computing Equipment

Report suspected theft of UCSC-related computing equipment to the police in addition to notifying the ITS Support Center and your supervisor.

Checklist for Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices

  • Immediately report lost or stolen devices to the police
    • Report to UCSC police for campus incidents and local police for off-campus incidents (phone is best)
    • Always get an incident or report number
    • Call them back if item is found, including if a separate agency contacts you regarding a found device
  • If you used the device for work
    • Also report it to the ITS Support Center (info above) so they can help identify and address potential compromised accounts or data
    • Notify your supervisor if it was a University-owned device
  • For phones, notify your cellular carrier-- see if they can deactivate the device
  • Change all passwords stored or used on the device, including email, Dropbox, banking, etc.
  • Notify credit card companies and banks if you used the device for shopping or banking
  • Try to track its location, if possible
  • Try remote wipe if sensitive data or passwords were stored

Tips for protecting mobile devices:

Reporting Spam and Phishing

Spam and phishing complaints should be sent to the ITS Support Center using the IT Request system. For more information about SPAM and how to reduce it, please visit: Spam, Scams & Phishing

Also report spam and phishing directly to Google. See ITS's Google Security page for instructions.

What is a Computer Security Incident?

A computer security incident is any attempted or successful unauthorized access, disclosure, or misuse of computing systems, data or networks (including hacking and theft).

A computer security incident may involve any or all of the following:

  • a violation of campus computer security policies and standards
  • unauthorized computer access
  • loss of information confidentiality
  • loss of information availability
  • computer/device theft
  • compromise of information integrity
  • a denial of service condition against data, network or computer
  • misuse of service, systems or information
  • physical or logical damage to systems
Examples of computer security incidents include but are not limited to:
  • lost or stolen equipment
  • presence of a virus or spyware or any other malicious program, including alerts from your antivirus software that your computer may have malware
  • sudden appearance of unexpected/unusual programs
  • posting of confidential/restricted data to a publicly-accessible web site
  • inadvertent sending of restricted data to unauthorized recipients
  • establishment of an unauthorized account for a computer or application
  • unusual network connections to a computer
  • sharing/revealing passwords

Warning signs your computer might be infected



For ITS Staff:

List of KBs relating to computer security incident reporting and response (login required)

Rev. Nov 2015