Connecticut community college hit with "zero-day" malware

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A Connecticut community college reported the potential exposure of confidential records following a malware infection.

How many victims? 87,000 records of staff, students and faculty members at Housatonic Community College (HCC) in Bridgepoint, Conn.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers, addresses and dates of birth.

What happened? “Zero-day" malware” infected two computers in campus offices and was discovered during a nightly scan of the network. The compromised machines were removed from the offices and sent for forensic analysis in Hartford, where it was confirmed that the potentially exposed files contained confidential information.

What was the response? HCC is sending letters to the individuals whose records were compromised and offering two years of free identity theft protection.

Details: The school plans to change how confidential information is accessed on its systems and will add new software to prevent viruses. Officials at the college said there is no indication that any personal data was actually stolen.

This is the second college in Connecticut this year to succumb to a major malware infestation.

Quote: “We take the protection of personal information very seriously and are taking steps to prevent future occurrences through a combination of new technical and operational controls,” said HCC President Anita Gliniecki.

Source: ctpost.com, Connecticut Post, “HCC records potentially exposed in security breach,” April 13, 2012. connecticut.cbslocal.com, CBS Connecticut, “Data Breach At Community College,” April 12, 2012.

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