University of Maine system hacked, information exposed

University of Maine system hacked, information exposed

Often times people may forget that protection is needed on non-traditional eCommerce websites as well, and this may be the case for the University of Maine. The school, according to the Kennebec Journal, had its computer server hacked and Social Security numbers and credit card information of students exposed. Having SSL certificates by companies such as GeoTrust and Thawte in place is a must for any servers or websites that hold personal information such as this, as it can help go a long way in securing these numbers.

The news source said students who were potentially affected had made purchases through the campus-based online store at the university's campus in Orono. There were about 2,818 "unique identifiers" affected, according to the university, with 435 credit card numbers and 1,175 Social Security numbers possibly exposed.

John Gregory, executive director of information technology at the University of Maine, told the Journal that it's possible that students from other campuses could have made purchases from this server, but it would not be a large number of students. Students from the University of Arkansas potentially had information exposed in this breach as well, according to school officials.

The importance of SSL certificates is huge. By letting people know that they are safe to make a purchase on a website, it is more likely that they will be able to trust the website and submit their credit card information. Ghacks.net said Mozilla seems to have realized this and made SSL certifcates more easily visible in the new edition of Firefox. SSL certificates by companies like VeriSign can now be displayed much higher in the browser for ease of viewing. Universities and other eCommerce websites that could be breached should be sure to install certificates to help keep students and their own university safe.