Univ. of Tampa says student info was exposed for 8 months
Accidental online leak involved more than 6,800 students; another 22K may also be affected
Computerworld - An in-class project on advanced search techniques led to the discovery of a major data breach at the University of Tampa (UT) in Florida earlier this month.
The breach affected more than 6,800 students who enrolled with the university last fall. It occurred after a file containing their names, Social Security Numbers and dates of birth was inadvertently made available on the Web for about eight months.
Another two files containing similar data on an additional 22,722 faculty, staff and students may also have been available online during that same period, the university said in a statement Monday. Those two files were not indexed by Google and therefore are less likely to have been viewed by others, the university said.
The school did not say why only one file was indexed by Google.
The breach followed a decision by university IT officials to create three temporary files to address a problem with university ID cards that arose after a server migration in July 2011. The file with the sensitive data was available from July 2011 to March 13, 2012, when it was discovered during an in-class search exercise. It has since been removed and all traces of it deleted from search caches.
UT will pay for credit monitoring services for the 6,818 students whose data was exposed. A university spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Compromises stemming from inadvertent data exposure on the Web are common. Last year, the names, Social Security Numbers and other personal data on more than 3.2 million Texas residents was compromised after three files were inadvertently put on a server that was accessible over the Web. The compromise resulted in two senior Texas IT executives being fired by the State Comptroller's office.
Similarly, Yale University last August had to warn 43,000 faculty, staff and students of a breach after the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server on which the data was stored got indexed by Google and became searchable on the Web. In that case, the data was publicly available for more than 10 months before it was discovered and taken down.
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
- NSA used 'European bazaar' to spy on EU citizens
- Target CIO resigns following breach
- Evan Schuman: Mobile IT Roach Motel: Data checks in, but it won't check out
- Sears finds no evidence of data breach -- yet
- Gameover malware is tougher to kill with new rootkit component
- Mobile app for RSA Conference exposes personal data
- UK man charged with hacking Federal Reserve
- Bloomberg clamps down with data-access policies after scandal
- Amazon.com security slip allowed unlimited password guesses on mobile apps
- Huge turnout at RSA shows hackers are winning
Read more about Security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- 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