UF notifies thousands of possible breach of ‘Grove’ computer system

From a University of Florida announcement:

University of Florida officials are making every effort to notify more than 97,200 people that an intruder gained access to a computer system containing files with their personal information.

The files included the names and Social Security numbers of students, faculty and staff who used the “Grove” computer system between 1996 and 2009. When it was created, this system provided an online location for faculty to host course materials and class information, and it supported one of the few free e-mail services available to those on campus. Users of the computer system were required to verify their identification with their UF ID numbers, which in most cases were Social Security numbers. At the same time, some faculty housed class records that included student names and their UF ID numbers on the system. UF stopped using Social Security numbers as UF ID numbers in 2003.

The breach was discovered Jan. 14 during a systems review by an information technology staff member. The system was immediately shut down, and an investigation began. The investigation confirmed unauthorized access to the system, but it could not determine if files containing private information were accessed. The University Police Department was notified of the incident.

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