PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Security Breach!

While you may have been enjoying your holiday break, those who work at Penn State’s privacy office were not. After a breach in the PSU network due to malware infections, social security numbers of over 30,000 individuals connected to the Eberly College of Science, College of Health and Human Development, and Commonwealth Campuses have been hacked. Annemarie Mountz, spokesperson for Penn State, says they’re not sure if the data was accessed by cyber-criminals, but that all those affected should stay on their toes and be alert.

The 2006 Pennsylvania Breach of Personal Information Notification Act mandates that the University notify anyone whose personal identification information is lost or stolen due to computer malfunction or hacking. The mailing also includes a brochure on how to protect yourself against identity theft. Mountz says that the university had been working to encrypt sensitive information since fall 2008. Unfortunately, with a university containing so many alumni, staff, and students, it’s a long, slow process that has obviously not made enough headway.

This information comes shortly after news that some alumni’s social security numbers had been hacked as well. In early August, an online grade book containing about 300 social security numbers was compromised by a computer virus. Those affected considered taking legal action.

While none of the numbers were used maliciously in that case, there is no reason they should have been sitting around on computers after the affected students graduated, and there is absolutely no excuse for the University to take three months to notify them that a breach had occurred.

The incident in August is child’s play compared to this recent breach, though. Three hundred versus thirty thousand is a big difference, like one class against an entire university. While Penn State officials are working hard to notify those affected and fix this mess, it’s still a big mess. Josh Shaul, Vice President of product management for Application Security Inc., says the university must first protect data they know exists. Second, officials must search for data that could be in unknown places. Finally, officials must establish a system to keep data, known and unknown, within the organizations’ networks.

[Pic]

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Caitlin Silver

Caitlin is from a small Pennsylvania town called Unionville, which is by West Chester, which is by Philadelphia. She is a sophomore in the Smeal College of Business and will probably major in accounting. Caitlin loves "How I Met Your Mother" and dougnuts.

Comments

Other posts by Caitlin

Kiwi Fro-Yo Comes to Penn State

The Kiwi Yogurt chain is opening its newest store right here in State College, next to the Student Book Store at 324 E. College Ave, this February (no word yet on exact date). Kiwi is a Maine Line, Pa.-based, family-owned company founded in 2008 set on providing “the ultimate dessert experience.”

And it is quite the experience. When you walk in, there is – prepare yourselves – a wall of frozen yogurt options. You get to walk up to this beautiful wall and vend yourself as many flavors as you like.

IFC-PHC Producing YouTube Video to Feature Greek Leaders

Vote For Edublogs!

No. 8 Penn State Loses To Michigan State 21-17

Brian Lewerke’s 25-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds left sunk the Nittany Lions on Homecoming.

[Photo Story] Relive Homecoming Weekend 2018

Now that you’ve had a full day to recover from the heartbreaking 21-17 loss to Michigan State, it’s time to relive the other, more successful parts of Homecoming weekend.

Send this to a friend