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Michigan State University has experienced a data breach, which it said took place on November 13th.
It is believed that 449 people are thought to have been compromised, after an unauthorized party gained access to its database (which contains over 400,000 records).
The information exposed by the data breach includes the names, social security numbers and university identification numbers of past and present students and employees.
Within 24 hours of the data breach, the records were taken offline, the university confirmed.
It has also assured that the database didn’t contain other highly sought after sensitive information, such as passwords and financial or medical information.
Lou Anna K. Simon, president of Michigan State University, stated: “Regrettably, we were recently the target of a criminal act in which unauthorized users gained access to our computer and data systems.
“Information security is a top priority of our university, and we know the frustration this is causing members of our community.”
She added that the university will look to work “diligently” to ensure that its data systems are better protected, as well as “improve the security of information that is entrusted to us”.
The university’s police department has warned those concerned to remain alert for further criminal offenses, such as fraud or identity theft.
The university is working on improving the security on campus, while offering individuals on the database two years of free identity theft protection, fraud recovery and credit monitoring.
Universities are increasingly under attack from cybercriminals, which can cause all sorts of problems.
For example, earlier this year, the University of Calgary suffered a ransomware attack.
Author Narinder Purba, We Live Security