In an unprecedented data breach at the University of Central Florida (UCF), about 63,000 Social Security numbers and names of former and current students and UCF staffs were hacked, revealed a university official on Thursday.
Officials reveal that two groups were affected, one with current student-athletes as well as some students who played in 2014-15, and some athletic department staff. Details regarding their student ID numbers, Social Security numbers, and information about their sport and studies were said to be hacked. However, most of the information that was compromised belonged to current students and UCF employees.
The people whose information has been compromised have not been notified yet. The university will alert them by letters that are expected to be sent Friday, officials said.
The university also detailed that people who are affected will receive one year of free credit monitoring and identity protection services. A call-in phone center and a website were started this morning, which provide details regarding the case and necessary precautions people need to take to keep their account sale.
The issue was reported first on January 8 by the University of Central Florida, however, the officials investigated the hack and took help of the national forensics until Thursday to reveal the news, said Joel Hartman, who oversees information technology at the college.
“All the information we have indicates there has been no attempt to use this information for identity theft or fraud or other financial means,” Hartman said, adding no credit card information was stolen.
“We became aware of the outside party or parties gained access into the information in the administrative systems,” Hartman said.
More information regarding the back was provided in a post mentioned in UCF’s website.
“Based on our investigation, we believe the intrusion into the university’s computer network resulted in unauthorized access to certain personal information for two groups.
“One group includes some current student-athletes, as well as some former student-athletes who last played for UCF in 2014-15. This group also includes some student staff members, such as managers, supporting UCF teams.
“The second group includes current and former university employees in a category known as OPS, or Other Personal Services. Examples of positions in this category include undergraduate student employees (including those in work-study positions), graduate assistants, housing resident assistants, adjunct faculty instructors, student government leaders and faculty members who have been paid for dual compensation/overload (for example, teaching additional classes). If you are not sure of your employment category, you can check with your supervisor or your department’s human resources representative. Employees who previously held but do not currently hold OPS positions may be included.”
School leaders and authorities also confirmed that necessary steps are being taken so that a security breach does not happen again in future.
The website also provides UCF’s call center number 877-752-5527, which is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday to get more information.
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