Aug 212014

David Weldon writes:

While retailers and healthcare organizations have dominated much of the data breach media attention in recent weeks, a new study finds that the nation’s colleges and universities are at even greater risk for cyberattacks.

In an email to FierceCIO, the security firm BitSight Technologies shared highlights of its new research report, “Powerhouses and Benchwarmers: Assessing Cyber Security Performance of Collegiate Athletic Conferences.” The report finds that as a sector, the nation’s top schools are at even greater risk for security breaches than are the retail and healthcare industries.

Read more on FierceCIO. You can request the full BitSight report here.  Analyzing/comparing the data by athletic conferences doesn’t thrill me, but they do provide some useful information in the report.

Aug 212014

ULM [the University of Louisiana at Monroe] says they experienced a data security breach on Tuesday when a employee’s email account was accessed by an unauthorized individual.

This security breach may have compromised the personal information of students who graduated from ULM in Fall 2013, and Spring 2014.

The university says data security measures have been reinforced with the ULM Foundation staff. In addition, ULM is strengthening data security measures.


I cannot seem to find any notice on ULM’s website.  According to ULM’s archived press releases, however, it would appear that approximately 1,394 students graduated in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.

ULM media contacts were not immediately available to respond to email inquiries requesting more details about the breach, but I will update this post as more information becomes available.

Update of 8-22-14: It seems the employee fell for a phishing attempt. ULM has not responded to the inquiries I sent them yesterday requesting more details about the incident. If/when they do, I will update this post.

Aug 212014

An update to a breach previously noted on this blog.

Anna Burlson reports:

Three North Dakota University System employees who dealt in IT security have been put on administrative leave following a massive security breach last winter.

The personal information of more than 290,000 current and past NDUS students was vulnerable for four months before the hack was noticed Feb. 7. Several agencies looked into the security breach and found that the hacked server was most likely used as a “launch pad” for an overseas entity to access other servers.

Read more on Prairie Business.

Aug 192014

Mike Bush reports:

New Mexico State University has determined that the on-campus theft of computing equipment in June included a laptop with a link to personal information on some 170 students.

The suspected thief, the university said in a letter dated Aug. 11 to the affected students, has been arrested and charged, but, “had disposed of the stolen laptop containing the personal information prior to being arrested.”

The stolen laptop “inadvertently” contained “a link to an excel file containing your name, date of birth, Social Security number and other student information related to you, along with similar personal information of approximately 170 other students,” the letter stated.

Read more on Albuquerque Journal.

Aug 162014

Peter Terlato reports on a hack leading to a bit of a political flap:

A 21-year-old communications student from the University of Technology, Sydney has been charged with gaining unlawful access to restricted files which contained information pertaining to Frances Abbott’s $60,000 scholarship.

NSW Police issued a court summons to part-time librarian Freya Newman earlier this week, after receiving a complaint by the Whitehouse Institute of Design that its computer system was hacked on May 20.

Read more on Business Insider Australia

According to other sources, Newman was reportedly working as a part-time librarian at Whitehouse at the time. The Daily Mail reports:

The revelations sparked widespread outrage when it was revealed that the ‘chairman’s scholarship’, which covered most of Ms Abbott’s fees, had not been advertised and had only been awarded once before, to Billie Whitehouse, the daughter of the Institute’s founder and owner.

It was further revealed that Tony Abbott had not declared the scholarship on his pecuniary interests register, despite the fact that Les Taylor, the chairman of the school’s board of governors is a Liberal party donor and recommended Ms Abbott for the scholarship.

Mr Abbott has maintained that he had no reason to declare the scholarship because his daughter won it on merit.

Aug 162014

Annie Cutler reports:

A 26-year-old Brigham Young University student was arrested on charges of identity theft and computer crimes.

Police say Gabriel Camacho stole personal information of his co-workers, other students and even professors at BYU and the University of Utah.

It all started when Camacho was fired from his job when his employer suspected he had hacked into their computer system. Turns out, the employer was right and after authorities searched a flash drive Camacho left behind, they said they learned he had hacked into more systems.

“We’re talking passwords, account numbers, birth dates, all of that information,” Chief Cody Cullimore of Lindon police said.

And it’s sensitive information Lindon police say Camacho has admitted to stealing. There could be more than 50 potential victims between his recent employer, U of U and BYU.

Read more on Fox13