Data Security

University of Central Florida Responds to Data Breach

The University of Central Florida is taking steps to remediate an intrusion into its computer network discovered in January. The breach exposed personal information, including Social Security numbers, of some current and former students and employees.

After the breach was discovered, the university reported the incident to law enforcement and launched an internal investigation with the support of an incident response and digital forensics company. The investigation has revealed that the breach resulted in unauthorized access to personal information of two groups of people.

The first group includes current student athletes, some former student athletes who last played for UCF in 2014-15 and some student staff members of UCF teams. Compromised personal information about these people includes first and last names, Social Security numbers, student ID numbers, sport, recruitment information and the number of credit hours taken and in progress.

The second group includes current and former employees categorized as "Other Personal Services," including undergraduate student employees, graduate assistants, housing resident assistants, adjunct faculty instructors, student government leaders and some faculty members. Compromised personal information about these people includes first and last names, Social Security numbers and UCF employee identification numbers.

People affected by the incident will receive notification letters during the week of February 8. UCF is offering those individuals one year of free credit monitoring and identity-protection services. The university has also set up a call center and a special Web page with information about the breach.

The university is working to improve user account and password security; strengthen data security processes and protocols; and expand information security education and training.

"Safeguarding your personal information is of the utmost importance at UCF," wrote John C. Hitt, president of UCF, in an e-mail to the campus community. "To ensure our vigilance, I have called for a thorough review of our online systems, policies and training to determine what improvements we can make in light of this recent incident."

More information about the data breach and the steps UCF has taken in response can be found on the University of Central Florida's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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