In response to the recent theft of thousands of school files containing personal information, allegedly by a Downingtown West High School ninth grader, the Downingtown district is hosting a "Cyber Information Session" tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Lionville Middle School.

Scheduled speakers include John Toney, a Secret Service agent and the coordinator of the Philadelphia Area Electronic Crimes Task Force, Robert D'Ovidio, a Drexel University professor who is an expert on electronic crime and Roy Calarese, a detective from the Chester County Computer Crime unit. Downingtown superintendent Sandra Griffin, and Buck Jones, the district's technology director, will also be on the panel. The school is at 550 W. Uwchlan Avenuein Uwchlan Township.

The 11,700-student Chester County district was shaken by the discovery earlier this month, that a 15-year old had allegedly used hacking software to access district data while using a school computer during a study hall. The student downloaded files from 2005 containing over 41,000 adult taxpayers' names and personal information including social security numbers and over 15,000 students' names and personal information, police said.

Though the district and police have said they believe the information was shared with only one other student, the district has sent out about 16,600 letters to affected households. The student has been arrested and charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor. His name is not being released because he was charged as a juvenile.

The district also has announced plans to separate its central office server from the rest of the network, and to tighten up access requirements.

A full time network security specialist has been reassigned to oversee the use of file access privileges, and more frequent and intensified security audits of the network and files will be implemented, district officials said.

Information about the forum and about the theft of the files can be found at the district's website: http://dasd.us/security/

Contact staff writer Dan Hardy at 610-701-7638 or dhardy@phillynews.com.