Over 7 Million Alumni Hit in the University of Minnesota Data Breach

  • By Steven
  • Aug 29, 2023

University of Minnesota Data Breach

The University of Minnesota is a large research school based in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The school works with more than 50,000 students annually and protects data from them over time. The major Minneapolis-based university was recently the victim of a data breach, and millions of past and present students could be impacted by it. Get all the details about this horrendous attack below. 

How Did the Attack Occur?

Somehow, one or more hackers were able to infiltrate the records at the University of Minnesota and steal data from students dating back to 1989 at the university. It's amazing that so much data was available at the school and that it was all kept in one location where it could be stolen. There is no information about how the breach was accomplished, but we suspect some sort of phishing attack or security vulnerability was involved. Either way, a huge number of past students and faculty have a problem now. 

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?

While it's likely that the hacker collected full names, email addresses, and street addresses for the people involved, the only data we know was collected were Social Security numbers. These numbers can be used for identity theft and other harmful attacks, and they are more protected than many other personal details. Nearly 7 million people lost their Social Security numbers in this data breach, and many have been away from the University of Minnesota for decades. According to the attacker, data was taken from students and alumni of the University dating back to 1989. 

How Did the University of Minnesota Admit to the Breach?

We don't believe the university has filed any official reports about the data breach yet. Instead, only some unofficial notices have been released about the breach. We don't have details about any official investigation occurring. The university is informing everyone that it has information about a data breach involving many of its past students. We suspect that with further investigation, the school will have no choice but to send out individual notices to each student and staff member involved in this data breach. If Social Security numbers are truly involved, then everyone has a legal right to know their information has been stolen. 

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

We suspect the stolen data will be misused as much as possible for profit. It's likely, since the attackers are making it public knowledge that all those Social Security numbers were stolen, that they will demand a ransom from the University of Minnesota. Aside from the ransom demand, the attackers will likely attempt to resell the information as well as use it for future hacking attempts. Between all these different potential use cases for the collected data, it's possible for the hackers to do a great deal of damage. 

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

If you attended the University of Minnesota as far back as 1989, you should be careful to protect your data and monitor your credit. Watch all three different credit bureaus for any odd changes to your credit, and act quickly to protect yourself if you notice anything strange. The best way you can stay protected is to put a freeze on your credit. Short of that, you can monitor everything by investing in a credit monitoring service. Either way, you should watch your information and ensure that nothing odd happens to your credit to keep your credit and finances safe and protected.

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