Apr 012014

JSTOR, a not-for-profit  founded to help academic libraries and publishers (and part of ITHAKA), is notifying 800 users of a breach discovered on March 17:

RE: Important Security Notice from JSTOR

We are writing to let you know that your MyJSTOR account was recently accessed without authorization by a third party.

What this means to you

This means the any personal information you have added as part of your MyJSTOR profile may have been accessed, including your username, password, email address, primary area of study, position/academic status, and institutional affiliation. We do not store credit card data or financial information of any kind, so this was not accessed.

What you should do

We strongly recommend that you change the password of your MyJSTOR account, and other accounts where you may use this password.

To change your password, log in to your account at JSTOR.org and select the “MyJSTOR” menu at the top of the page, then scroll down and select “My Profile.” Enter your old password where prompted and select a new, secure password. The password must be a minimum of six characters. We recommend you do the same on other sites where you use this password. For additional help with password security, you might consider password managing applications such as 1Password and LastPass.

We are sorry this happened and recognize that these kinds of events can be troubling. JSTOR has over 3 million MyJSTOR accounts in total, and yours was one of only approximately 800 accounts affected by this incident. We take these situations seriously. We have taken the steps necessary to stop this activity and are reviewing our security measures to prevent future incidents.

Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. You can reach us at [email protected]

Thank you,

JSTOR User Services

SOURCE: California Attorney General’s web site.

DataBreaches.net  e-mailed JSTOR and ITHAKA this morning to ask when the breach occurred, how it occurred, how JSTOR learned of the breach, whether passwords were stored in plain text, what JSTOR is doing to prevent a recurrence, and whether there have been any reports of misuse of user data, but has not received any reply from either by the time of this publication.


  One Response to “JSTOR notifying 800 users that account information was accessed by unauthorized individual(s)”

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Aaron_Swartz

    Yes, we know already they take these situations seriously. When was the FBI called in to help investigate this breach? If it turns out that JSTOR was negligent in securing the PII they were entrusted with, will they be prosecuted?

    Happy April Fools day!

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