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ISU Security Breach

Security breaches are becoming commonplace across America, and locally. Target and Michael’s have been hit, now Iowa State University is reporting a social security number breach.

Here’s the statement from ISU:

AMES, Iowa – Information technology staff at Iowa State University have discovered a breach affecting five departmental servers on campus. An extensive analysis has revealed the compromised servers contained Social Security numbers of 29,780 students enrolled at Iowa State between 1995 and 2012.

There’s no evidence any of the data files were accessed, and there was no student financial information in the records. The servers were hacked by an unknown person or persons who intended to generate enough computing power to create bitcoins. Bitcoins are a type of digital money that can be used to buy merchandise anonymously.

“We don’t believe our students’ personal information was a target in this incident, but it was exposed,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert. “We have notified law enforcement, and we are contacting and encouraging those whose Social Security numbers were on the compromised servers to monitor their financial reports.”

In addition, Iowa State is reaching out to another 18,949 students whose university ID numbers were located on the compromised servers. University IDs are generally used in combination with a password, and have no use beyond campus. The exposure of these numbers poses no financial threat, Wickert said.

Individuals whose personal information may have been exposed are being notified by phone.

 

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