University of South Carolina system suffers sixth breach in six years

University of South Carolina system suffers sixth breach in six years

Some computer networks are never breached by attackers during their entire existence. Some may look to these examples as proof that a developed IT security strategy is optional. However, the threat of data loss is real and persistent. According to South Carolina news source the State, the University of South Carolina recently lost personal information for 34,000 people, marking the sixth time its servers have been compromised since 2006.

Personal information leaks

The State reported that the latest University of South Carolina breach occurred three months ago. Administrators recently informed the victims and offered credit monitoring services in case of identity theft. Incident response in such cases is important, and the news source reported that the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a consumer advocacy group, expressed concern over the number of breaches sustained and long response time.

"We favored being as accurate and comprehensive as possible. If someone wants to take us to task (for the notification delay), I can understand," said university tech vice president Bill Hogue, according to the State.

Hogue also told the source that the breach contained information data thieves would be particularly eager to take advantage of, including Social Security numbers. The records compromised dated back to 2005, and included information on both students and staff members. Hogue explained that automated botnets launch many attacks on the university's servers every day, totaling in the thousands.

Wide range of university attacks

The education sector has fallen prey to several attacks from hackers recently. Though they present a less obvious target for cybercriminals than corporations or government agencies, the breaches have proved that colleges have information worth protecting. According to the Telegram, Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, also suffered a recent attack. The Memorial breach was limited to student information, and responders are still unsure how much as seen by the attackers.