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UMCP struck by large cyberattack

23 February 2014 By Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief No Comments

A large cyberattack at the University of Maryland, College Park has compromised the information of thousands of current and former students, faculty and staff.

According to The Diamondback, the student newspaper at UMCP, school officials estimate that the names, birth dates, university ID numbers and Social Security numbers were compromised for 309,079 people.

The cyberattack hacked into a database that contained information from anyone who received a UMCP ID since 1998.

Director of Information Security for Towson’s Office of Technology Services Todd Spahr said there are a number of protocols in place to make sure an attack like this doesn’t happen at Towson.

“At Towson we take a defense in-depth type of approach to securing our systems and specifically data,” Spahr said in an email. “There isn’t a single security product in place but multiple layers of security that protect our information and our data.”

Spahr also said the University will review the incident at UMCP, but it is too early to determine if Towson will make any changes to its security protocols.

“It is still too early to say how the attack happened and to what system,” he said. “My guess is we will know more in the next couple of weeks.”

Vice President for Administration and Finance Joe Oster could not be reached for comment on any separate security measures that Auxiliary Services has in place to protect any information of students, faculty or staff with OneCards.

UMCP President Wallace Loh sent out a letter to the university’s community Tuesday night, the day that the attack happened.

The letter said that the attack was “sophisticated.”

“Universities are a focus in today’s global assaults on IT systems. We recently doubled the number of our IT security engineers and analysts. We also doubled our investment in top-end security tools,” the letter reads. “Obviously, we need to do more and better, and we will.”

Because there is now a risk for identity theft because of the information compromised, UMCP will be offering all of those affected free credit monitoring for a year.

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