University of Minnesota investigating claims of big data breach

Published 8:07 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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By Matt Sepic

University of Minnesota officials said Tuesday that they’re investigating the possible theft of personal data from university computer systems.

The U launched the investigation in late July after the tech journal The Cyber Express reported claims that a hacker had potentially gained access to more than 7 million Social Security numbers.

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In an email, University of Minnesota spokesperson Jake Ricker would not say whether the school has determined the validity of that figure, or how many individuals’ data may be affected.

Ricker said that “the preliminary assessment is that the data at issue is from 2021 and earlier.”

He added that since 2021 the school has bolstered system security with additional monitoring and enhanced multi-factor user authentication.

Ricker said additional scans “did not reveal ongoing suspicious activity related to the incident.”

The U says it’s been working with law enforcement and outside computer forensics experts, and is promising to notify and provide resources to anyone who may have been affected.