75,000 students and staff of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM) woke up today to learn that their social security numbers may have been accessed by an unauthorized third party. Technology staff stumbled upon a malware program hidden in the university's database server that is used to store important student information as well as research data. The malicious program had the ability to access and forward information to an off-campus location.
UWM's vice chancellor Tom Luljak made the announcement, and speculated that the perpetrators might have actually been looking for data and findings from the school's various research projects. The database that is thought to have been compromised was used to store scanned documents from a number of UWM's departments, as well as student applications. These applications are the schools top concern at this point, as they contain a plethora of information on students both past and present.
Computer forensics experts are working closely with the school to determine the source of the malware and hunt down the party or parties responsible. No data loss has been confirmed thus far, but the full results of the investigation won't be available for another month and a half. Luljak notes that UWM is doing everything it can to ease the minds of those whose data may have been obtained, saying "Our responsibility, we believe, is to be completely transparent to those affected."
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