MSU suffers data breach, exposing about 400,000 university records
Update 5 p.m. MSU spokesman Jason Cody comments on data breach
“We regret that people in the MSU community are going to be dealing with this, and we would encourage all members of the community, who will be notified, everyone who is impacted will be notified in addition to everything we're doing now to let people know," MSU spokesman Jason Cody said.
Cody said MSU encourages all people who may be affected by the breach to go to the MSU Data Security website.
"That (MSU Data Security website) has information and walks everyone through on the steps they can take to help protect themselves and also how they can sign up for the free credit report monitoring," Cody said.
The data breach of a university database had 400,000 records exposed, 449 were confirmed to have been accessed by an unauthorized party.
"Anytime that there's a data breach like this where people have access, unauthorized access, to names and social security numbers, yes there is a threat of identity theft," Cody said.
MSU suffered a data breach on Nov. 13, exposing a database with about 400,000 records, the university confirmed via press release.
An unauthorized party accessed a university server, which contains "sensitive data," according to the press release.
The database contained about 400,000 records, including names, social security numbers and MSU identification numbers of some current and former students and employees.
The affected individuals include faculty, students and staff employed by MSU between 1970 and Nov. 13, 2016, and those who were students between 1991 and 2016.
The breach did not reveal passwords or financial, academic, contact or health information.
Of the 400,000 records in the breached database, 449 were confirmed to have been accessed by an unauthorized party. The database was taken offline within 24 hours of the unauthorized access, according to the press release.
The MSU Police Department is working with federal law enforcement and MSU's Information Technology team to investigate the incident.
There is no evidence unauthorized individuals retrieved the other records. According to the press release, MSU will reach out to all individuals who may be affected by the data breach. They said they will provide free credit monitoring.
The press release included a number for people affected to contact.
When the number is called, a recording is played that says starting Nov. 22 professionals will provide staff for the number to support those affected.
“We deeply regret and apologize for any inconvenience caused by this incident and remain committed to protecting all information entrusted to us by our faculty, staff and students,” the message from the MSU Identity Support Service said.
MSUPD encourages all current and former students and employees to remain vigilant for potential incidents of fraud and identify theft. Report any unauthorized or suspicious activity to police immediately, reference MSU Police incident report 1658103881.
MSU Capt. Doug Monette declined to comment. MSU spokesman Jason Cody could not be reached for comment.