Xavier University of Louisiana Sends Data Breach Letters to Students
Table of Contents
- By Steven
- Feb 21, 2023
Xavier University of Louisiana, a private Catholic school with just over 3,400 students, was recently attacked in a cybersecurity incident. The attack could have potentially exposed credit information from many students at the establishment. Xavier University offers a mix of bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees and is a well-respected establishment utilized my many students in and around New Orleans as well as the rest of the United States. It's disconcerting to hear of this recent attack and data leak.
How Did the Attack Occur?
Staff at the Xavier University of Louisiana noticed a disruption with the school's network on November 22, 2022. After doing some investigating it was determined a Ransomware attack caused the issue. Criminals infiltrated the school's data network, accessed files, encrypted important data, and then attempted to extort the school to have the data restored. It was only after a professional investigation that the school was able to get control of its network back and restore important data to the network.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
During the Xavier data breach, the attackers could access the full names and Social Security numbers of current and past students, according to the security investigators examining the attack. It's possible that addresses and phone numbers could have also been exposed in some of the documents. This information puts students at risk for fraud, and it could negatively impact their credit if the hackers sell the gathered information or use it themselves.
How Did Xavier Admit to the Breach?
The Xavier University of Louisiana sent a data breach notification to the Maine Attorney General and mailed individual letters to all the students that this security attack may have impacted. The attack was first noticed on November 22, 2022, and the investigation didn't conclude until January 24, 2023. It wasn't until February 13, 2023, that the organization began sending out letters to all the affected individuals. Once you receive your letter, your information has already been potentially exposed for several months. For this reason, it's important to act as soon as possible to protect yourself.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
Since the information was intentionally accessed and gathered by one or more hackers, it's more likely that information will be used to open up fraudulent accounts and used in other damaging ways. It's common for hackers to sell gathered information on the dark web, and this is why it's essential for anyone affected by this attack to take steps to protect themselves as soon as possible.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
Any former or current students at the Xavier University of Louisiana that's impacted by this data breach should take immediate action to protect themselves. Consider starting by putting a freeze on your credit through the major agencies. This will prevent new fraudulent accounts from being opened in your name. Xavier Univeristy is also offering Experian credit monitoring services for 12 months. Any affected parties are encouraged to take advantage of this service for additional protection and peace of mind.