The database, according to the university, was used “in connection” with the College of Education students’ eFolio software application, which captures information such as test scores, grades, and other “data elements.”
Personal information for 88 faculty members also was exposed in the data breach, according to Florida International.
Penn State University sent letters to 15,806 people whose personal information—including Social Security numbers—was exposed when a computer in the campus’s Outreach Market Research and Data office was compromised by a “bot.”
A group of bots, or “botnet,” as they’re known, is a network of compromised computers controlled by malicious software programs that exploit web browser vulnerabilities and a host of other security holes in a personal computer.
IT security experts said colleges’ commitment to an open network and unwillingness to restrict web use has made campuses a hotbed for hackers trolling for personal information.
Adam Levin, chairman and cofounder of Identity Theft 911, said colleges’ decentralized IT systems combined with an open network are “a recipe for the disaster we’ve experienced.”
Thousands of students connected to online social networks and file-sharing web sites endanger the entire IT infrastructure, Levin said.
“When you’re downloading Madonna, you could also be downloading” malware that could spread throughout a campus IT network, he said.
- Research: Social media has negative impact on academic performance - April 2, 2020
- Number 1: Social media has negative impact on academic performance - December 31, 2014
- 6 reasons campus networks must change - September 30, 2014