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Press Releases

Murray State University Exposes 260 Student SSNs Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 18 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
MURRAY, Kentucky. The Murray State University College of Education posted the personal information of 260 students and professionals, including names, social security numbers and birth dates, ethnicity, gender, GPA, and test scores on its website. Affected students are all participants in Continuing NCATE Accreditation through Murray State University, and the information is in an Excel report called "2000-2001 State Admissions Report." The report was last revised in June, 2001 and was posted online in Excel format on or before June 13, 2002. Since that time it has been available to the world online. Google picked up the file in its cache at least 1 1/2 years ago. When in Google's cache, otherwise "hidden fields" are automatically un-hidden, and are automatically displayed. more...
Colorado State University Exposes 300 Students' Personal Info Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 18 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
FORT COLLINS, Colorado. On November 15, 2007, the Liberty Coalition discovered four files containing sensitive personal student information for 300 Colorado State University students on the Warner College of Natural Resources website. The files include 208 social security numbers, usernames, passwords (derived from the social security number), and other information. The affected individuals all appear to be former College of Natural Resources students. more...
BYU Counseling Center Posts Sensitive Student Information Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 17 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
PROVO, Utah. The Brigham Young University's Counseling and Career Center appears to have exposed personal information of 89 BYU Medical school Applicants by placing their names and personal information on its website. The information, contained in an excel file named "MD-DO-Stats-2006.xls," contained full names, last three digits of social security numbers, gender, economic disadvantaged status, academic majors, race, MCAT scores, an indication of whether the applicant was accepted or rejected, and other academic information. more...
Montana State University Exposes 42 Employees' SSNs Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 16 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
On November 1, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered an Excel file on the Montana State University Website containing personal information of university employees hired in August, 2006. The file is labeled "New Hire Report Aug 16, 2006," posted by MSU Bozeman Personnel Payroll Services: 19 Montana Hall, PO Box 172520, Bozeman, MT 59717-2529. The file contains the complete social security numbers, names, street addresses, and hire dates for roughly 42 University of Montana employees. According to the MSU Press release, "...an independent security analyst [Liberty Coalition] informed university data security staff that an Excel spreadsheet with the names and Social Security numbers of 42 people -- mostly new hires during the summer of 2006 -- was available on the MSU Web site. The spreadsheet was immediately removed." more...
Liberty, KY Business May Have Exposed 1,291 Students' Personal Info
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 15 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
LIBERTY, Kentucky. A former elementary school principal, and proprietor of Frysc Connect and Rick's Computer Enterprise in Liberty, Kentucky posted a file online which appeared to contain 2,377 names, including 1,291 of his former students' social security numbers, dates of birth, ethnicities, addresses, phone numbers, guardians' names and other personal information. Rick claimed that he scrambled names and other information so they no longer matched. Though some of the information had apparently been scrambled, much had not. more...
In Response to Data Breach, Cracked.com Changes Privacy Policy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 14 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
NEW YORK, New York. In early October, 2007, the Liberty Coalition discovered a file containing what appears to be the names, genders, dates of birth, salary information, e-mail addresses, t-shirt sizes, and contact information for approximately 1,010 Cracked.com subscribers. The file was available to the online public, and was not password-protected, encrypted, behind a firewall, nor required authentication to access. The exposure contradicted Cracked.com's already weak Privacy Policy, "We use commercially reasonable efforts to safeguard and secure your personal information while stored on our computer systems. We use a variety of industry standard security measures, including encryption and authentication tools, to maintain the confidentiality of your personal information. Your personal information is stored behind industry standard firewalls and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who are authorized to access such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential." (Accessed 11 October 2007) However, presumably in response to this breach, Cracked.com has since changed its privacy policy to disclaim all responsibility for exposing customer data: "We have physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to help safeguard, prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use your information. HOWEVER, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE SECURITY. Neither people nor security systems are foolproof, including encryption systems. In addition, people can commit intentional crimes, make mistakes or fail to follow policies. If applicable law imposes any non-disclaimable duty (if any), you agree that the standard used to measure our compliance with that duty will be one of intentional misconduct." Translation: "We screwed up, and we're not going to take any responsibility for it unless you sue us. You're on your own if we put you at risk." more...
University of Texas, Austin Biology Department Exposes 13 SSNs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 05 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
AUSTIN, Texas. On November 3rd, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered a file online, containing the names, social security numbers, test scores, assignment scores, and grades for 13 individuals who took Biology 331 from K. Sathasivan, Ph.D. of the College of Natural Sciences. The University took the file offline within hours of notification. more...
Army ROTC Releases 551 SSNs Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December, 26 2007 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
FORT MONROE, Virginia. On November 3, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered files online that contain sensitive information for 4,057 former ROTC scholarship winners from across the country, including 551 Social Security Numbers. The remaining files contain full names, academic majors, schools, scholarship award and suspense information, and other information for 3,506 individuals. It is unclear whether any of this information is protected by FERPA. more...
Special Olympics, Texas Exposes 2,665 Partial SSNs Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December, 26 2007 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
AUSTIN, Texas. The Liberty Coalition recently discovered 2,665 partial social security numbers of Coaches for the Texas Special Olympics in two Excel files on the Texas Special Olympics website. The last four digits of the social security number are often used to extend credit, and some financial institutions use it as a password. By placing this information online, the Texas Special Olympics has put these coaches at an elevated risk of identity theft. The files also contain location and coach certification information. more...
Titanfoundation.com Posts Personal Information for 1,689 Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December, 26 2007 UPDATED: January, 06 2008
In October 2007, the Liberty Coalition discovered seven files on the website titanfoundation.com exposing personal information of 1,689 individuals. The files contain names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, email addresses, and financial information. Some individuals on this list are at extreme risk of identity theft. more...
University of New Mexico Breach Affects 333 Former Students
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December, 07 2007 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico. In early November, 2007, the Liberty Coalition discovered 31 separate files containing sensitive information for 333 students who took math courses from Associate Professor Vakhtang Putkaradze between Fall 2001 and Fall 2004 at the University of New Mexico. The files appear to contain full names, 177 partial social security numbers, 190 e-mail addresses, and grades for all 333 students. The last four digits of a person's Social Security Number is used by businesses to extend credit, and may be used by some financial institutions as a password or identifier. By placing this information online, the University of New Mexico has put these students at an elevated risk of identity theft. In addition, much of the exposed information may be protected by FERPA or other applicable laws. more...
ID Thief Gives Away 49 New York Residents' Personal Info
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December, 07 2007 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
NEW YORK, New York. An identity thief who identifies himself as "Cypher," explained how he went dumpster diving in New York for sensitive information. Though the Liberty Coalition discovered the file in August, 2007 and reported the breach to the FBI on August 26, the file remained online until at least October 15, 2007, and was confirmed deleted only on December 7, 2007. more...
Hundreds of U of Delaware Chemistry Students at Risk of ID Theft
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December, 03 2007 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
NEWARK, Delaware. On November 15, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered 20 separate files containing sensitive personal information for roughly 582 University of Delaware Chemistry students who participated in the Chemistry mentoring program between 2000 and 2004. This information included full names, dates of birth, roughly 482 social security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, home addresses, and a range of other personal information of current or former University of Delaware students. Students affected by this breach may be at extreme risk of identity theft. The files were available to the public on a University of Delaware website. more...
Scholarship Foundation created by Monster.com Founder Exposes 694 students' Personal Information
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November, 26 2007 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
NEW YORK, New York. Hundreds of high school students from Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia may be at extreme risk of identity theft after winning scholarships from the McKelvey Foundation. The scholarship foundation, started by Monster.com founder Andrew McKelvey, placed a massive cache of former McKelvey Foundation Scholarship winners' personal information online. A total of 51 files were discovered by the Liberty Coalition on November 8, 2007, using a major search engine. The files contained thousands of records, and roughly 694 unique names, social security numbers, dates of birth, high school, address, phone number, e-mail address, and other sensitive information. The server indicated that most of the files were last modified as early as March, 2004, indicating that they have probably been available online more than three years. Some of the files were modified as late as April 2007. more...
University of Florida Exposes 415 Student Social Security Numbers Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November, 19 2007 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
GAINESVILLE, Florida. On November 15, 2007, the Liberty Coalition discovered 14 separate files on the University of Florida Computing and Networking Services (CNS) website containing sensitive information for 534 former University of Florida students, including 415 social security numbers. All affected individuals appear to be former students of Richard A. Elnicki, D.B.A., Professor Emeritus in ISM 4220 and 4330 between 1998 and 2001. more...
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