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University of South Carolina Breach Results in 34,000 Possible Victims

34,000 students, staffers and researchers with the University of South Carolina run the risk of having their private data exposed as a result of a breach of the institution’s system. Their names, addresses and Social Security numbers are in danger of falling into the wrong hands.

This incident appears to be the sixth, and the most ample, security breach against the USC in the past six years, exposing a total of 81,000 records. In this last attack, perpetrators got their hands on records that date as back as 2005.

The State reports there’s no indication that hackers are using the data stored on the compromised computer server but the university decided nonetheless to send notifications to all people in that database to give those people the opportunity to place fraud alerts to inform them in case of suspicious movement on their credit reports.

And since the breach was dated in June, the University of South Carolina asked Kroll Advisory Solutions to support all possible victims and help them prevent fraud attempts.

When asked why the university decided to wait for 11 weeks before releasing information about the data breach, Bill Hogue, USC’s vice president for information technology, said  “We favored being as accurate and comprehensive as possible”  and that he understands the implications of this decision.

 “The school is hit with an average of 280 attempts a day to hack or infect its computers — almost all generated by automated systems known as bots” and no less than “55,000 devices — including smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and servers — are connected to USC’s computer systems daily,”  Hogue added. These numbers are significant and call for better security policy as all those people need to have their data protected at all times.

About the author

Loredana BOTEZATU

A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.

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