UCLA security breach affects 800,000 people (not just students)
LA Times reported this morning that "hackers have gained access to a UCLA database containing personal information on about 800,000 of the university's current and former students, faculty and staff members, among others."
The personal information stolen include names, birth dates, social security numbers, home addresses, and other contact information.
There are two things you have to know that are not widely reported by the media:
Breach Also Affects Applicants and Parents
According to UCLA's information website, the breach also affects "student applicants and some parents of students or applicants who applied for financial aid.
The database also includes current or former staff and faculty of the University of California, Merced, and current or former employees of the University of California Office of the President, for which UCLA does administrative processing"
This could potentially affect a lot of people. If you applied to UCLA or had a standardized test score sent to UCLA, you may be affected by this breach.
Don't Wait for UCLA to Contact You
While UCLA claims that it will attempt to contact all those who are affected, don't hold your breath.
I know many people who are personally affected by this security breach who did NOT receive a notice from UCLA. They had to call the UCLA hotline (877 533-8082) to verify that they were indeed a victim.
When the victims asked why they did not receive the notice, UCLA hotline operators said that they only sent out information to the most recent contact info listed on URSA, UCLA's online records system. Not surprisingly, most alumni, parents, and applicants do NOT constantly update UCLA with their latest mailing or e-mail addresses.
Call the hotline (877 533-8082) right now and check whether you have been affected.
If You are a Victim What Should You Do?
According to UCLA:
"As a precaution, UCLA recommends that you contact one of the three national credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your consumer credit file and obtain a copy of your personal credit report. Once a credit bureau places a fraud alert on your credit file, the two other credit bureaus will automatically do the same. Each bureau will then send you a copy of your credit report. The fraud alert and credit reports are free. Here is the contact information for the fraud divisions of the national credit bureaus:
- Equifax: (888) 766-0008 http://www.equifax.com
- Experian: (888) 397-3742 http://www.experian.com/fraud
- TransUnion: (800) 680-7289 http://www.tuc.com