Friday, April 08, 2005

Incident: Mississippi joins list of colleges leaking data as names and SSNs are posted online

For quite some time, a list of names, frats and social security numbers has been publicly available on a University of Mississippi web server. Only after notified by MSNBC did the university take it down:

Mississippi joins list of colleges leaking data - Spam, Scams & Viruses -

"Ray was just surfing the Internet looking for information on an old friend. Instead, he found a gold mine for identity thieves -- a Web site full of documents listing hundreds of student names and Social Security Numbers. It was posted right on the University of Mississippi's Web site, there for anyone to see.

'I was just looking up an old college friend when I stumbled on this page,' said Ray, who requested his last name be withheld. 'I know this isn't something I should be able to see.'

There were about 20 documents listing fraternity and sorority members. Some had as few as five entries. The list of Phi Mu members included 189 names and Social Security Numbers. In all, about 700 students were listed in the documents.

After a call from, the university shut down access to the Web page Wednesday. Jeff Alford, assistant vice chancellor for university relations, said the files had likely been exposed on the Internet since 2003...."

Thanks to for the link.


Leak of UM data 'mistake' - The Clarion-Ledger:

"Students' info accidentally posted on server

The Associated Press

OXFORD - University of Mississippi officials say there was no malicious intent by a former staff member who backed up student information onto a document that could have made the data available to anyone over the Internet.

Jeff Alford, assistant vice president for university relations, said Friday that the names and Social Security numbers of about 300 students have been taken off the school's Web server.

Alford said MSNBC contacted the university on Wednesday after it broadcast a report that a man used the Internet to look up a college friend...."

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