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Students and Missouri State University officials are on high-alert following a recent information security breach at the university's College of Education. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the details.
In October and November of 2010, the College of Education prepared a list of students by semester in preparation for its accreditation process. The lists included the names and social security numbers of students for nine semesters between 2005 and 2009 and were intended to be available to university personnel on secure servers.However, according to a university press release, it was discovered on February 22 that at some point in October or November all nine lists, containing 6,030 students, were accidentally posted on Google by a university employee. Jeff Morrissey is the chief information officer at Missouri State.
“We had an individual that was on Google searching for a classmate that all of the sudden got a hit on their name and the list came up and she felt obligated to call us and let us know,” he said.While attempting to contact the students, the university has been working closely with Google to remove all nine lists. Along with removing the lists, Missouri State officials have offered to pay consumer identity theft protection insurance.Morrissey says that the lists received limited hits and more importantly, anyone who did view the information stayed on only one list without opening any others.“There’s no indication that anyone went from one list to the other and if you’re out trying to harvest social security numbers and you had access to more than just one list it makes sense that you would go ahead and open the others as well,” Morrissey said.Also according to the press release, the university has already initiated disciplinary action against the employee who released the information on the server.For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.