Indiana University Latest in Long Line of Educational Breaches
March 3, 2014 Less than a week after 300,000 students and faculty of Maryland University had their personal information compromised by hackers, Indiana University is now suffering a similar fate. 146,000 current and previously enrolled students and alumni of IU had their personal information exposed by a sophisticated web-based attack from a group of as-yet unidentified hackers.
Details are still sketchy, but what is known is that the university keeps names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of all students, past and previous, on a secure server. The server itself was accessed via a web-based intrusion that the IT staff detected and acted on immediately, shutting down access to the server and preventing what could have been a costly calamity for IU.
The specific mechanisms of the attack are still being researched, however investigators have reported a high level of confidence that the attack was cut short, and that student information was not copied or transmitted offsite. Students and alumni should be aware, however, that the investigation is ongoing. In the short term, all those affected would be wise to keep a close eye on their credit information and bank accounts, just in case.
This attack represents just one of hundreds of similar breaches of educational institutions that happen throughout the country, and the world, on a monthly basis. At the organizational level, educational facilities should consider archiving potentially compromising personal information off-network, preferably utilizing a storage solution that is both encrypted and secure.
The LOK-IT flash drive, produced by Systematic Development Group, offers educational institutions with an ideal way to protect the valuable personal information of both students and staff. Featuring military-grade encryption and a unique manual locking system that prevents electronic transmission without first physically entering a secure key code, the LOK-IT drive would do much to prevent the damage caused by the many security breaches affecting the educational sector.
Unless and until schools and universities make the effort to secure files that contain personal data, these attacks will continue. Utilizing a tool like the LOK-IT drive not only prevents the headaches caused by identity theft, but reduces the liability of educational institutions with regards to data storage. If you belong to an educational organization, consider implementing a data archiving plan as soon as possible – and make sure that the LOK-IT drive is part of your plan.
300,000 Affected in U-MD Breach
February 24, 2014 Reports are coming in regarding a massive security breach at the University of Maryland, one that has affected over 300,000 students, faculty, and staff members of the venerated teaching institution.
Investigators describe the intrusion as a “sophisticated computer security attack,” and it is now known that the names, dates of birth, and Social Security information of the affected individuals have been compromised.
U-MD issued a formal apology on their website and in an email to all those affected, stating that they are working hand in hand with local police and the Secret Service to apprehend the intruders before the stolen information can be used for illicit purposes. “I am truly sorry,” stated university president Wallace D. Lohin a recent press release. “Computer and data security are a very high priority of our University.”
The good news is that U-MD is providing free credit monitoring services to any and all of the staff members and students who had their personal information stolen in the attack. Anyone who worked at or attended the university between 1998 and the present day qualifies for this free credit monitoring, and those who are interested are encouraged to call Experian directly at 1-866-274-3891.
An attack of this magnitude should be a reminder to everyone of how vulnerable our personal information is in today’s increasingly interconnected world. While we can’t always control the security of our data when it’s in the hands of enterprises or institutions, we should all make the effort to keep our own personal information as secure as possible.
The LOK-IT secure flash drive is a quick, simple, and powerful way to keep your personal data secure. Featuring premium encryption and a patented hardware lock that prevents any access without first entering a secure code in the attached keypad, the LOK-IT drive is perfect for students and teachers alike.