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Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Indiana University Data Breach Affects 146,000 Students

This week’s reason to be more careful about where and how your data is stored: A data breach at Indiana University may have exposed the data of 146,000 students and recent graduates.

The Chicago Tribune reported the news today, saying that among those affected are those who attended the university between 2011 and 2014.

data-breachThe personal data includes the students’ and graduates’ social security numbers and addresses, and was discovered last week when the university found that a server had been accessed by web crawlers.

“The information was not downloaded by an unauthorized individual looking for specific sensitive data, but rather was accessed by three automated computer data-mining applications, called webcrawlers, used to improve Web search capabilities,” a statement from IU said.

The data had been stored in an insecure location for the past 11 months. University officials locked down the site and moved the data to a secure server the following day before notifying the state’s attorney general about the breach. Indiana University also set up an information hotline and a website to assist those concerned their data may have been exposed.

This is potentially a huge breach and yet another example of how the digital age is forcing IT and data management professionals to be more diligent than ever before when it comes to protecting sensitive data. (See also: Target.)

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