University warning of data breach over a year later - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, September 23, 2019
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University warning of data breach over a year later

SOMEONE HACKED THE EMAIL SYSTEM

The University of Alaska is notifying potentially affected students and others after an investigation into a data privacy incident revealed unauthorized access to some UA email accounts.

The breach took place over a year ago, but it wasn’t until Friday at 11 pm that the university made public the breach through third-party news release services such as PRWire.com.

The press release does not indicate how many people are believed to be impacted. The university has no notification on its own website about the breach.

[Read the entire Friday night press statement]

The university says it is notifying individuals whose records were or may have been in the email accounts at the time of the hack attack and is providing credit resources that can be used to help protect against misuse of information.

The problem dates to February 2018, when the university officials began receiving reports from people having problems accessing their university email accounts.

The university took steps to disable unauthorized access and started an investigation. The school worked with a third-party expert to determine the impact of the breach.

That investigation determined that certain users UAOnline account passwords were changed by an unauthorized third party. UA notified all of those whose accounts were affected and upgraded security protocols for password changes.

The information that may have been present in the affected email accounts varies by individual.

That information may include an individual’s name, government issued identification number, date of birth, digital signature, driver’s license number, usernames and/or passwords, financial account numbers, health and/or health insurance information, passport number, and UA student identification number. For certain individuals, Social Security number may also have been present in the affected email accounts.

UA is notifying potentially affected individuals of this incident, providing them with access to credit monitoring, and providing information and access to resources they may use to better protect against potential misuse of personal information, should they feel it appropriate to do so.

To assist individuals who may have further questions about this incident, UA established a toll-free hotline: 866-783-5580, operational weekdays, 5 am – 6 pm. Additional information may also be found at https://www.alaska.edu/news/it/dataincident.php.  The University will not contact people by phone to request any personal information.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • This story lands with a thud.
    The big story is how much money will the Legislature borrow (or spend) from the CBR and the PFER. The House has tried (but failed) to balance the budget. Now its gamesmanship between all 3 houses of government.
    So sad. Fiscally we are the luckiest people in the world!

    • I’m sorry, what?

  • Over and Over!! Fire Johnsen…his decision making process and screwed….long before he got the job at UA. Fire HIM!!!

  • According to the post, these are 15 companies that no longer require a university degree for some of their top jobs:

    Google
    Ernst and Young (EY)
    Penguin Random house
    Costco Wholesale
    Whole Foods
    Hilton
    Publix
    Apple
    Starbucks
    Nordstrom
    Home Depot
    IBM
    Bank of America
    Chipotle
    Lowe’s

    • Most of those are minimum wage positions…… not sure of your point?
      It is still hugely worthwhile to complete a bachelors degree. Or at least an associates or certification for specific field. Also, STEM degrees do not guarantee employment. Lots of very inept engineering majors who cannot string together a sentence or simply trained in theory but clueless in application, coming out of colleges. Albeit the ability to write well and communicate along with bachelors degree will definitely give one an advantage in employability.

  • lots of companies experience data breaches but can you imagine one that is not unaccountable to take a year to disclose? Can you imagine if Exxon did that?

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