The University of Maryland’s “personnel information database” was recently invaded by “hackers” which resulted in the theft of social security numbers for hundreds of thousands of individuals, according to an article published by ABC News. The article indicates that a large number of social security numbers – “dating back to 1998” – birth dates and college ID data were compromised by the attackers after they accessed the personal records of over 300,000 people – “faculty, staff, students and affiliated personnel” – as confirmed by the article. Financial, academic, health or contact information was not compromised in the attack, according to the report.
University President Wallace Loh was quoted in the article to say, “I am truly sorry. Computer and data security are a very high priority of our University. With the assistance of experts, we are handling this matter with an abundance of caution and diligence. Appropriate state and federal law enforcement authorities are currently investigating this criminal incident. Computer forensic investigators are examining the breached files and logs to determine how our sophisticated, multi-layered security defenses were bypassed. Further, we are initiating steps to ensure there is no repeat of this breach.”