Close to Quarter of Million People Were Vulnerable to Unauthorized Online Access at Western Connecticut State University

By Ed Silverstein November 29, 2012

Some 233,880 people who had contact with Western Connecticut State University were vulnerable to having their private records exposed to unauthorized online access, according to the Danbury, Conn., school.

The records include Social Security numbers and financial account information which date back 13 years. The vulnerability took place between April 2009 and September 2012.

The university claims it found no evidence that records were inappropriately accessed, and has corrected the vulnerability in the storage system.

The Ridgefield Press reported that the vulnerability was found in a security audit, not found out because of a data breach.

“It was a regular maintenance [discovery], kind of looking at the system,” Interim Associate Vice President Paul Steinmetz told the newspaper. “It was discovered by the University Computing — our IT department.”

It also appears the vulnerability was caused by a “misconfiguration, rather than a flaw in software licensed from a vendor,” Steinmetz told the newspaper.

The university has been proactive since the discovery.

“We are disappointed that these records were potentially exposed, but we will do everything we can to protect our students, their families and others with whom we have worked,” Western Connecticut President James W. Schmotter said in a recent statement. “The steps we are taking and the solutions we are offering to every one of those affected are designed to address any problems this situation may have caused.”

Those impacted include students, their relatives who filled out financial aid information, and others who associated with the university, as well as high school students whose SAT scores were purchased in lists by the college. 

The university is offering up to two years of ID theft protection at no cost through AllClear ID, according to a university statement.  AllClear ID provides free identity theft protection service for consumers, TechZone360 adds.

Western Connecticut also has set up a searchable database that contains the names of all affected individuals. A hotline at (855) 731-6012 was also set up to answer questions.




Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Want a Big Cable Merger? Good Luck Charter!

By: Doug Mohney    5/29/2015

Charter Communications wants to buy both Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in a $67 billion deal. It will create an entity second in size to…

Read More

Rising Mobile Broadband Accessibility and Usage Impacting Global Social and Economic Growth

By: Laura Stotler    5/28/2015

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are having a direct impact on social and economic development, according to interesting new research…

Read More

Avago Technologies Acquisition of Broadcom: Let The Chips Fall Where They May

By: Peter Bernstein    5/28/2015

With a combined valuation of roughly $77 Billion and revenues of $15 Billion once the transaction closes the new Avago will have the human and technic…

Read More

Digital Ad Viewability: The New Metric for Monetization

By: Tara Seals    5/28/2015

Verizon Communications raised a few eyebrows earlier this month when it announced plans to acquire AOL for $4.4 billion. It seemed a lot to pay just t…

Read More

Future Watch Apps May Surprise You

By: Mike Russo    5/27/2015

If there's one thing that's abundantly clear about the Apple Watch, it's that this isn't your grandpa's timepiece. Oh, it tells time, sure. The rest i…

Read More