University of Wisconsin hacked; 75,000 SSNs exposed

Another day, another computer break-in: This time the University of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee campus was the target. According to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, malicious code was discovered on a document management database server. The university contacted law enforcement and after a month-long investigation realized that the database on the system contained over 75,000 records that included social security numbers for both students and employees.

Nobody is sure how long the malware was running on the server, but it was shutdown once the breach was found.  It’s suspected that the software was being used to identify cutting edge research that the school is working on, but that has yet to be confirmed.

While the forensic investigation states that there is no evidence that the personal information was stolen, the school is still warning students to be vigilant by monitoring their credit history and putting a freeze on their credit report.  It’s interesting to note that although most companies that suffer data breaches end up offering one year of free credit monitoring to the victims, the University of Wisconsin says that since there was no evidence the data was stolen, they will not offer the free service. It’s also good to know that while students may have had their identity stolen, the database contained no “academic information such as student grades,” so at least the attackers won’t be able to identify whether students passed their criminology courses.

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13 Comments

Should be noted that while the servers are in UW-Madison, the 75,000 people applies to everyone in the UW system, not just Madison.

Adamb10 said,
Should be noted that while the servers are in UW-Madison, the 75,000 people applies to everyone in the UW system, not just Madison.
It says UW-Milwaukee though? And if you Google UWM it comes up with University Wisconsin-Milwaukee so I wonder if it affects Madison students or not. I have friends that have gone to school there.

Wow, Wisconsin! My lovely State (: Is on Neowin! Hahhaa. For a bad reason! D= oh well. Im rather surprised. UW-Madison is like an epic school

xbamaris said,
Wow, Wisconsin! My lovely State (: Is on Neowin! Hahhaa. For a bad reason! D= oh well. Im rather surprised. UW-Madison is like an epic school

Hrm, not surprised here. Given the craziness in Madison lately this should have been expected. But, the school administration are always "SHOCKED AND SURPRISED" that someone would go after their IP. UW Madison USED to be a good school but has turned into a bloated and overpriced entity like most of the other well known collage's.

DATmafia said,

Hrm, not surprised here. Given the craziness in Madison lately this should have been expected. But, the school administration are always "SHOCKED AND SURPRISED" that someone would go after their IP. UW Madison USED to be a good school but has turned into a bloated and overpriced entity like most of the other well known collage's.

Agreed. Madison is a mediocre school at best. All it's known for is it's sports teams and maybe the Psych and Medical department.

I will say that it's arguably the best party school/campus in the country. If you haven't experienced Miflin, then you haven't experienced life.

That school is fantastic, I hear. Real cutting edge stuff there in Madison - even high end stuff like stem cell research is found in Madison, WI.

you know,why don't we just make credit reporting / monitoring a right at this point? it seems like its almost required now days with the fact you can't stop a company from storing your information....

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
you know,why don't we just make credit reporting / monitoring a right at this point? it seems like its almost required now days with the fact you can't stop a company from storing your information....

Its a conspiracy from credit reporting/monitoring companies to get you to buy into their products!

This is exactly why colleges should not use SSNs as "student identification". If I knew then what I know now, I would have refused to give my SSN.

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