The names, addresses and social security numbers of 34,000 researchers, members of the staff, and students from the University of South Carolina have become exposed after hackers from overseas breached the institution’s systems. The records they might have obtained date as far back as 2005.
It’s unknown if the hackers actually stole or misused any of the information stored on the College of Education server they breached, but the school’s representatives are alerting all the potential victims to prevent any unfortunate incidents, The State reports
On the other hand, several weeks have passed since the breach was discovered back on June 6. This timeframe could have been more than enough for a skilled criminal to commit identity theft.
Kroll Advisory Solutions has been called in to assist potential victims to ensure that they will not fall victim to fraud attempts.
Similar to other organizations that found themselves in such situations, the University of South Carolina decided to assess the full extent of the incident before informing the public and the potential victims.
“We favored being as accurate and comprehensive as possible. If someone wants to take us to task (for the notification delay), I can understand.” Bill Hogue, USC’s vice president for information technology, explained.
He claims that this might change in the future if the school officials’ examination will dictate it. And judging by the fact that the university is hit by an average of 280 cyberattacks each day, such incidents are bound to occur.
This particular breach is the sixth and largest that occurred since 2006. During this timeframe, a total of 81,000 records have been exposed.
It started timidly
in 2006 when 1,400 individuals were affected. A similar breach occurred the next year, but the numbers increased considerably with the incidents that occurred in 2008 (31,000 victims) and 2011 (31,000 victims).