Breach, Data Security

Unattended hard drive may have led to exposure of 14k Social Security numbers

The personal information of students applying to attend Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., may have been accessed after a portable hard drive containing their data was found in a campus computer lab.

How many victims? 14,217 students.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers, and information provided for financial aid purposes.

What happened? A portable hard drive that contained the information and was given to the Admissions Office was found in a campus computer lab unattended, after work was performed to replace an Admissions Office computer. According to a statement by the college, the hard drive sat in the lab for up to 48 hours.

What was the response? The college notified affected individuals and have provided one year of identity monitoring services.

Details: While a majority of the information belonged to college applicants, according to the school, a “small sampling” of students attending for graduate study or Continuing Professional Studies may also have been affected.

Quote: “We are working to make sure this type of incident doesn't happen again and live up to the expectations parents and students have of us to keep their information safe,” David Provost, vice president for finance at Champlain College, said.

Source:, Burlington Free Press, Champlain discloses possible security breach” June 3, 2013.

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