University of Florida warns students and staff of security breach

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

University of Florida
The University of Florida is contacting more than 97,000 people after an intruder gained access to a computer system containing personal information.

According to an announcement by the university, which is one of the largest in North America, say that files potentially accessed by hackers included the names and social security numbers of students, faculty and staff who used computer systems between 1996 and 2009.

Users of the computer system were required to verify their identification with their University of Florida identity numbers, which in most cases were social security numbers.

Yes, I’m probably thinking what you’re thinking.. “Hello wall, say hello to my head hitting you.”

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According to the University of Florida, they stopped using social security numbers as ID numbers in 2003.

University of Florida warning

It’s not yet known if hackers did manage to access the sensitive data, or whether it has been exploited by identity thieves, but this story surely underlines once again the importance for all organisations to encrypt their sensitive data.

If your important data is encrypted, then if the worse happens and hackers manage to gain access to your systems at least they won’t be able to do anything with the gobbledygooked information.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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