1,000 URI users affected by data breach

Posted 8/29/12

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The University of Rhode Island is in the process of notifying roughly1,000 current and former faculty members that certain personal information that appeared on a publicly shared College of Business Administration computer service was accessed and viewed by unauthorized individuals.

According to the release, URI took immediate action to shut down the server and is not aware of any reports of criminal activity or identity theft relating to the information that was exposed.

The ongoing investigation indicates that certain personal identity information was placed on a server that wasn’t set-up to store sensitive information.

In addition to the faculty members, 22 former URI students are being notified that their information was on the server. No personal information for current URI students was placed on the server.

URI is also working with an out-of-state attorney general’s office to assist with notifications to roughly 80 students from another school who were also affected.

The server had been used by faculty in the College of Business to upload and share course information. The incident was an isolated one that affected only one server in the college.

According to URI, no current students and no faculty hired after April 2008 were impacted by the data breach.

“The University of Rhode Island takes the protection of personal information seriously. Our priority has been and continues to be the identification of the exact nature and scope of this breach and to communicate directly with those who are affected,” Donald H. DeHayes, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said in a statement.

“We apologize to those who are impacted by this incident. Although no cases of fraud or identity theft have been reported to date, we are taking proactive steps to assist those whose personal information was exposed,” added DeHayes.

URI will provide 12 months of credit monitoring and identity protection services to those affected by the data breach.

Identity Theft 911, a company that specializes in identity theft education and resolution, has been hired to provide credit monitoring and alert individuals to inquiries, file updates or credit changes in their credit bureau file.

URI is personally notifying each individual impacted by letter with information about accessing the credit and identity protection services at the school’s expense.

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