College News

Data breach at UW Law School potentially leaked sensitive information

A UW Law School breach in early November could have exposed the social security numbers of more than 1,000 former students.

Image By: Morgan-Winston-Cardinal File Photo

More than 1,000 former UW-Madison law students could have had their social security numbers exposed by a computer hack that occurred Nov. 3, campus officials reported Tuesday.

The hacked database included social security numbers and name pairs from Law School applicants in 2005-’06, and affected individuals will receive a year’s worth of free credit monitoring to protect against identity theft.

The social security numbers are collected as a portion of the school’s admission process, used to match the admissions application to the students’ federal financial aid application. Former students whose information could have been leaked received letters Tuesday with instructions for next steps.

After learning of the breach, the school’s Cybersecurity Office investigated who was affected and how the incident happened. The hack likely came from inside the U.S., according to the release.

The university removed the files accessed during the breach from the server and also alerted law enforcement, as well as three national credit reporting agencies.

Additional security measures to protect sensitive data have also been enacted since the hack, like implementing an extra vulnerability identification program and evaluating current computer applications and discarding those that are no longer needed.

The release urges former students who may have been affected to immediately register for the theft protection service provided, MyIDCare.

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