Breach, Data Security, Vulnerability Management

Stanford University to users: Change your passwords


Stanford University in California is urging network users to change their passwords while a data breach investigation is underway.

How many victims? The notice is for all users. Stanford has more than 15,000 students and employs nearly 2,000 staff members.

What type of personal information? Unknown, but IT professionals are investigating if any health information, financial data or Social Security numbers have been compromised.

What happened?  It is unknown at this time, but officials so far are unaware of any sensitive information being compromised. An investigation is ongoing.

What was the response? Stanford University began an investigation with security professionals and law enforcement. A brief message was emailed and posted on the website asking all those with a Stanford University Network ID to change their passwords.

Details: Officials could not provide incident details, but the post on the Stanford University website compares the breach, ambiguously, to other recent attacks on large organizations.

In May, a hacker dubbed "Ag3nt47" claimed that he hacked Stanford and posted some staff information online, according to reports.

Quote: “Stanford treats information security with the utmost seriousness and is continually upgrading its defenses against cyber attacks,” the college said. “Like many institutions, it repels millions of attempted attacks on its information systems each day.”

Source:, “Investigating apparent IT breach, Stanford urges users to update passwords,” July 25, 2013.

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