In­di­ana Univer­sity re­ports po­ten­tial data ex­po­sure


In Fe­bru­ary this year, In­di­ana Univer­sity no­ti­fied the In­di­ana At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s of­fice of the po­ten­tial ex­po­sure of per­sonal data for some stu­dents and re­cent grad­u­ates. The data po­ten­tially at risk for dis­clo­sure in­cludes names, ad­dresses and So­cial Se­cu­rity num­bers for ap­prox­i­mately 1,46,000 stu­dents and re­cent grad­u­ates across seven IU cam­puses who at­tended the univer­sity from 2011 to 2014.

Un­like re­cent high-pro­file data breaches, how­ever, no servers or sys­tems were com­pro­mised. The in­for­ma­tion was not down­loaded by an unau­tho­rised in­di­vid­ual look­ing for spe­cific sen­si­tive data, but rather was ac­cessed by three au­to­mated com­puter data min­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, called we­bcrawlers, used to im­prove web search ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Im­me­di­ately upon dis­cov­er­ing the po­ten­tial is­sue, IU se­cured the data, and the univer­sity has no ev­i­dence that the files have been viewed or used for in­ap­pro­pri­ate or il­le­gal pur­poses. As a pre­cau­tion, how­ever, the univer­sity will be­gin no­ti­fy­ing all af­fected stu­dents of the pos­si­ble data ex­po­sure this week.

“IU takes the se­cu­rity of all its data, es­pe­cially the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion of its stu­dents, ex­tremely se­ri­ously and apol­o­gises for any con­cern this is­sue may cause among our stu­dents and their fam­i­lies,” said John Ap­ple­gate, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent for Univer­sity Aca­demic Af­fairs. “The univer­sity also is com­mit­ted to as­sist­ing those whose in­for­ma­tion was po­ten­tially ex­posed.”

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