Cyber Security

Is a Duke Student Responsible for the UMD Data Breach?

February 21, 2014

Guest Author

Stories reporting the University of Maryland data breach flooded the news headlines two days ago. UMD President Wallace Loh released a letter to students, staff, and faculty explaining the present situation.

In the letter, he says “309,079 records” containing names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and University ID numbers were compromised. Who is to blame?

Was it possibly a Duke student or fan? Is a 69-67 final loss against Duke not enough? Was it a parting gift for UMD leaving the ACC? 

Source: WashingtonPost.com
Source: WashingtonPost.com

When you hear UMD data breach, is this the first thing that comes to mind?

The special investigators could turn their attention to Mr. Duke Basketball himself, JJ Redick, who might seek revenge for the lovely trash talk directed his way while playing against UMD.

We’ll leave the rest of the jokes to threads on Reddit.

UMD’s Response and Recent Updates

President Loh said they “recently doubled the number of our IT Security engineers and analysts… [and] doubled our investment in top-end security tools.”

At least Loh admits their failure in preventing the incident. Sometimes these attacks are unavoidable, especially in the sophisticated manner the hackers attacked the data systems.

As of today, Vice President of IT Brian Voss says they’re working with the UMD Police Department, the U.S. Secret Service, and “MITRE, a leading systems engineering company specializing in cybersecurity” on investigating the cyber-attack.

The people affected can stay connected to updates from www.umd.edu/datasecurity/, emails, and the hotline at (301) 405-4440. Also, the university announced that the victims will receive a free “one-year membership of Experian’s ProtectMyID Alert.”

Even though the hackers stole no “financial, health, academic, or contact” info, social security numbers are important. Keep a watchful eye and always be aware of identity theft. As businesses, universities, the government, and hospitals look to beef up their cyber security, every person holds a personal responsibility to become smarter with their information when using the internet, phone, social media, and sending text messages.

Hopefully this drastic incident will serve as an example of an effective response to larger data breaches. This security breach proves vital to the state of Maryland’s identity as a leader investing in cyber security within the U.S. These attacks aren’t diminishing, if anything with the rise in wireless devices and the “Internet of Things,” cyber criminals will have countless avenues to valuable information.

And of course, we know that anyone connected to Duke University is not responsible for the data breach.

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