University of Texas, Austin FTP Site Puts 22 at Risk of ID TheftFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2007
Media Contact: Aaron Titus
AUSTIN, Texas. In late September, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered six files that contain the names, social security numbers, gender, majors, grades, email addresses, department, etc. of approximately 22 students or former students at the University of Texas at Austin. The files were indexed on an open university FTP site accessible through the search engine, www.filewatcher.com and perhaps other search engines. The affected students appear to be former enrollees of course PGE383 in the Summer of 2001 and 2002.
The University and FBI were notified of the exposure. The files were taken offline within hours, and th University of Texas Chief Information Security Officer Cam Beasley wrote in an e-mail to the Liberty Coalition that "...the University of Texas at Austin takes these matters seriously and we are actively working to secure this information." In a phone conversation, a University official indicated that they planned to notify affected individuals directly, where possible.
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.