IT Security & Network Security News & Reviews: Major Universities Rank High in 'Sweet Sixteen' Data Breaches of 2010

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-04-01 Print this article Print
Ohio State University

Ohio State University

Date: Dec. 15, 2010 Number of compromised records: 750,000Unauthorized individuals logged into an OSU server and had access to names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and addresses of current and former students, faculty, staff, consultants and contractors.
As part of March Madness fun, TeamShatter, the research arm for Application Security, pulled together information on some of the biggest data breaches affecting higher education in 2010. While overall No. 1 pick Ohio State University fell short of making the Final Four for the NCAA basketball tournament, the university was included in the Final Four for TeamShatter's Higher-Ed Breach Madness. In fact, it was the largest data breach in 2010, with more than four times the number of compromised records than the second largest breach, at Georgia's Valdosta State University. Data breaches can mean many things, including hackers attacking university servers, lost or stolen laptops, built-in search capabilities on the database and misplaced files. Not being current faculty, student or staff doesn't protect you if you have ever worked or attended some of these schools. Some of these breaches went as far back as 1987 and included information for contractors, prospective applicants, parents and even donors. When an attacker can compromise a university database, it's one-stop shopping for health records, credit card data and Social Security numbers. So far in 2011, there have been 14 reported breaches amongst higher education institutions, and the leader thus far is the University of South Carolina, with 31,000 records compromised. Below, eWEEK highlights the "Sweet Sixteen" of higher education institutions who suffered a data breach in 2010.

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