The worst-kept secret in higher education these days concerns the lax security policies and technology in place that’s allowing hackers to access millions of sensitive files each year.
As eSecurity Planet reports, the latest data breach at the University of Wisconsin illustrates just how common these attacks have become and should serve as a wake-up call to IT administrators around the country.
According to University of Wisconsin officials, the data breach was discovered in late October when the Wisconsin Union, which administers the campus ID card program, noticed that a database was repeatedly accessed going back as far as January 2008.
A compromised file in the database included social security numbers associated with individual photo IDs and names.
Tens of thousands of former University of Wisconsin students and staff members this week continued to receive advisory letters from the university, warning them that hackers managed to break into a database containing their social security numbers and other sensitive information.
Worse, according to the letter (available in PDF format), it appears the hackers had unbridled access to the database for more than two years.