Suffolk University Breach Exposes Student Social Security Numbers and More

  • By Steven
  • Jun 02, 2023


Suffolk University Breach

Suffolk University is a private research university located near Boston, Massachusetts. The school serves over 7,500 students each year and offers more than 100 undergrad, professional, and graduate programs. A huge number of students submit data for financial aid, tuition, and more, and that data could be at risk at a school that doesn't secure its data well. The school earns more than $118 million in revenue annually. This university handles data for thousands of students and employees, and that data was all put at risk due to a past data breach that Suffolk University just reported.

How Did the Attack Occur?

Back on July 9, 2022, a single attacker gained entry into the Suffolk University network. While in the data network, the attacker got away with data for a substantial number of students at the school. The data taken is personal enough for the university to be required to inform any students involved in the breach. The school worked with a third-party forensics team to determine what data was stolen and to safeguard its network, but anyone involved could still be harmed in several different ways. 

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?

When Suffolk was hacked, student names and social security numbers were taken. It's possible that students will suffer an identity theft attack because of the lost data. This information was gone for nearly one year before the University announced the breach in any way. It's unclear if any additional information was accessible during the breach, and these two data points are the only ones mentioned in the company's notice. 

How Did Suffolk University Admit to the Breach?

Suffolk University admitted to the data breach by sending a notice to the Maine Attorney General's office on May 24, 2023. The notice explains what data was taken and how many Maine residents were involved in the breach. The University also sent out notices to any of the individuals involved in the data breach. If a letter shows up at your home, you are at risk, and you should take steps immediately to monitor your credit and look for any security issues. 

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

The data taken during this data breach could be used to launch identity theft attacks. The information isn't substantial, but it could be enough to hurt the credit of the students and to cause them to lose out on money potentially. It's impossible to predict how the stolen data will be used, but anyone that receives a notice should take immediate action to protect themselves from future damage. 

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?

If you get a notice informing you of this data breach from Suffolk University, you should begin by checking your credit for any suspicious changes. You should also consider investing in credit monitoring or identity theft protection services. With one of these services, you'll receive regular updates about changes to your credit report and other relevant details. Many also include information about your web presence and your data on the internet.

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