SSN Numbers breached at UT

July 15, 2008

The personal information of almost 2500 University of Texas students and faculty has been exposed on the Internet.

An independent watchdog discovered more than five dozen files containing confidential graduate applications, test scores, and social security numbers.

The files were inadvertently posted by at least four different UT professors to a file server for the School of Biological Sciences.

The files were discovered in January 2008 and University officials restricted access to the files at that time, but copies remained in the Yahoo search engine caches until at least late May.

The person who made the discovery says it indicates systemic deficiencies in the way the University trains staff and scans servers for sensitive information.

However UT officials are downplaying the impact.

"As far as we know, there was no associated identity theft, which is consistent with our finding that this person may have been -- was probably the only person to ever see this information through his unique scanning technology," said Brian Roberts, UT Vice President of Information Technology.

School officials tell KXAN the University's IT department has notified everyone who has been affected.

You can check to see if your social security number has been used without your permission.

The last time the University had something like this happen was back in October when 25 students had their social security numbers exposed on the Internet.

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