University of South Carolina: 3,199 AffectedFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 5, 2007 UPDATED: September 7, 2007
Media Contact: Aaron Titus
COLUMBIA, South Carolina. On August 31, 2007, the Liberty Coalition discovered 18 files on the University of South Carolina's Department of Biological Sciences, that appeared to contain the full names, social security numbers, assignment scores, test scores, course grades, indications of academic misconduct, and other highly sensitive information for up to 3,199 students at the University of South Carolina. The files largely appeared to be grading sheets, posted in a faculty section of the website belonging to "~vieyra." Many of the files were indexed by major search engines.
The University and FBI were notified of the breach, and the University took immediate action to removed the files from the website.
According to The Daily Gamecock,
"The files were posted on a Web site belonging to Michelle Vieyra, who worked in a USC lab for six years and is now listed as a lecturer in the department... . [a University spokesman] said the school's tech department 'routinely' looks for 'this sort of thing,' but couldn't explain why they had missed Vieyra's Web site for eight to nine months. "
The University of South Carolina has now linked to this website as a resource for students to find out whether they were affected.
Individuals affected by this exposure should immediately visit www.nationalidwatch.org and search for their names, to confirm what types of personal information were exposed. NationalIDWatch.org has a list of recommended steps victims should take.
National ID Watch is a search engine for personal information breaches. Sponsored by the Washington, DC non-profit Liberty Coalition, NationalIDWatch.org provides more than a million free personalized Identity Exposure Reports™ as a public service.
Each Identity Exposure Report (IXR) documents what types of personal information were exposed (such as Social Security Numbers, Birth Dates, Addresses, etc.), without revealing them. Each IXR also details the situation surrounding each exposure, and contact information of those responsible for the breach. Armed with this information, victims can further investigate, take action, or correct harm.