Tufts warns 106,000 alumni, donors of security breach
Personal data on a server used for fund raising may have been exposed
IDG News Service - Alumni of Tufts University in Boston have been notified that personal information stored on a server used by the university for fund raising could have been exposed to intruders.
The university detected a possible security breach in an alumni and donor database after noticing abnormal activity on the server in October and December. The server was managed by a third-party vendor, according to a statement on Tufts' Web site. The incident is almost identical to a breach in March on a fund-raising system used by Boston College and follows reports of other information theft incidents in recent months at California State University, Chico, and the University of California, Berkeley.
As a precaution, Tufts sent a letter on April 7 to 106,000 alumni and donors who could be affected by the breach. Tufts said it didn't have any evidence that the information stored in the database was retrieved or misused, said Betsey Jay, director of advancement, communications and donor relations at Tufts.
The system in question belongs to the university but was running software from and being managed by RuffaloCODY, a software company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that assists nonprofit organizations with fund raising, membership and enrollment. The server was being used to support the university's Advancement telefund operation, in which students are paid to call alumni and other donors to solicit gifts for the university, Jay said.
Tufts detected a high volume of unusual behavior on the system that indicated it might have been used as a distribution point in a file-sharing network. However, university IT staff were not able to confirm that any sensitive files were copied or that there was misuse of information on the system, Jay said.
Tufts didn't initially disclose the security breach but was prompted to do so after coverage of other recent security breaches, Jay said. "We started to realize that what we had seen wasn't confirmation of misuse but that we should give donors and alums the information [about the breach] as a precaution," she said.
In its letter, Tufts recommended that recipients of the letter notify their bank and ask credit bureaus to issue fraud alerts and check for any unusual activity in their name. The university also set up a toll-free support line to assist individuals whose information may have been compromised.
In March, Boston College notified 120,000 alumni that their Social Security numbers and other personal information might have been compromised. As with the incident at Tufts, that notice followed the discovery of a security breach on a third-party server that the university was using for fundraising.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts