Possible security breach involving Xavier University?

On January 26, Jennifer Baker of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Miller Beckham III, 32, of Springfield Township was charged with demanding $20,000 from Xavier University in exchange for not publicly releasing personal student documents.

On January 27, Cliff Peal of the same paper reported that students had not been notified of any breach and that the university reported it was “still investigating” the situation.

On January 28, the paper reported:

An alleged extortion case at Xavier University involved personal information of a “limited number” of students and parents, a university spokeswoman said Friday, and there is no evidence the information was misused or that any university databases were breached.

The university sent a message to students and staff Friday alerting them of the Jan. 25 arrest of Miller Beckham III, 32, of Springfield Township on a felony extortion charge. Beckham allegedly demanded $20,000 from the university Jan. 14 in exchange for personal student documents.

The “nature of the information and how it was obtained” remain under investigation by Cincinnati police, said University spokeswoman Deb del Valle. She could not say Friday how many students may have been victims, but said those individuals have been contacted directly.

Beckham has never worked for the university. He remained jailed Friday on $10,000 bond. His next court appearance is Feb. 4, according to jail records.

I fail to understand how people can say that “no information was misused” when it was used for an extortion attempt. How is that not misuse?

There is no statement on the university’s web site as of the time of this posting. Since the extortion attempt was directed to them, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that the student and parent information was obtained from them somehow, even if they have found no evidence that any database was breached. Are they defining “breached” only as a hack? Have they really ruled out an employee downloading information and giving it to the accused?

If anyone received the letter or has additional information on this, please let me know.

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