Duke Law School Reports Social Security Numbers Exposed

Duke University Law School alerted about 1,400 people whose Social Security numbers were stored on a school website that it was illegally accessed, the school reported.

School administrators said they were contacting affected people as a precaution but did not know whether the records were accessed. The site stored data from applicants who requested information from the school's admissions office. About 1,400 of those requesting information provided Social Security numbers.

The intrusion was discovered Nov. 30 by school officials, who then took the site offline, according to William Hoye, the law school's associate dean of admissions. During their security evaluations of the website and server over the next several days, Duke computer experts found the database containing the Social Security numbers and determined that it was exposed during the attack.

"We have no evidence that the intruders actually downloaded or acquired any of this information," Hoye said in an email sent to the prospective applicants, according to Duke. "Nonetheless, we know they had the opportunity and the tools to do so."

The law school urged those whose Social Security numbers may have been at risk to take steps to monitor their credit and protect against identity theft.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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