Breach, Data Security, Vulnerability Management

Hacker accesses University of North Florida computer server


A University of North Florida (UNF) computer file containing the sensitive information of students may have been accessed by a foreign hacker.

How many victims? 106,884.

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

What happened? An unauthorized individual outside of the United States gained access to a school computer server some time between Sept. 24 and 29. A sensitive file on the server contained the personal information of UNF students and others who have expressed interest in the college. The information was collected during the recruitment and application process.

It is possible the intruder was seeking to disrupt normal business or use the computer's processing power to launch similar attacks on other computers, UNF said. There is currently no proof that any confidential information was stolen.

Details: Of those affected, 52,853 had their names and Social Security numbers compromised and 54,031 had their names and dates of birth compromised. In some cases, the intruder may have had access to ACT and/or SAT test scores, which are collected as part of the application process. UNF academic grades, financial aid information and course histories are not at risk.

What was the response? Immediate steps were taken to contain the breach and to prevent further unauthorized access. In addition, the university has notified affected individuals by letter. The university Police Department is working with the FBI to investigate the breach.

UNF has set up a phone number, (904) 620-2114, and an email account, [email protected], for questions concerning the data breach. Affected individuals are being advised to place a fraud alert on their credit files.

Source:, “UNF Alert," undated.

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