University of Florida warns students and staff of security breach

Filed Under: Data loss

University of Florida
The University of Florida is contacting more than 97,000 people after an intruder gained access to a computer system containing personal information.

According to an announcement by the university, which is one of the largest in North America, say that files potentially accessed by hackers included the names and social security numbers of students, faculty and staff who used computer systems between 1996 and 2009.

Users of the computer system were required to verify their identification with their University of Florida identity numbers, which in most cases were social security numbers.

Yes, I'm probably thinking what you're thinking.. "Hello wall, say hello to my head hitting you."

According to the University of Florida, they stopped using social security numbers as ID numbers in 2003.

University of Florida warning

It's not yet known if hackers did manage to access the sensitive data, or whether it has been exploited by identity thieves, but this story surely underlines once again the importance for all organisations to encrypt their sensitive data.

If your important data is encrypted, then if the worse happens and hackers manage to gain access to your systems at least they won't be able to do anything with the gobbledygooked information.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.