23 Apr 2014

30,000 US Students Affected by Iowa State Breach

A security breach at the Iowa State University exposed the social security numbers of 30,000 current and former students, according to an official news release.

The breach affected servers from five university departments, containing data from students enrolled at Iowa State between 1995 and 2012.

The university said the hackers were looking to gain computing resources to mine for Bitcoins and weren’t targeting students’ data.

“We don’t believe our students’ personal information was a target in this incident, but it was exposed,” said Jonathan Wickert, Senior Vice President and Provost. “We have notified law enforcement, and we are contacting and encouraging those whose Social Security numbers were on the compromised servers to monitor their financial reports.”

Iowa State will notify all of the affected by email, including 18,949 students whose university IDs were stolen. Those whose Social Security numbers were exposed will receive a year of free credit monitoring.

To mitigate the risks of future data leaks, the university has removed files containing SSNs or other personal student information and closed down the compromised servers.