If you were issued a University of Maryland ID any time since 1998, your personal records at the university may have been stolen: During a computer security breach at 4am Tuesday, a hacker gained access to 309,079 such records belonging to faculty, staff, and students. Officials think the information—including names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth—was copied, the Washington Post reports. No contact information or financial, academic, or health records were stolen, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The attackers basically "made a Xerox of [the information] and took off," says Chief Information Officer Brian Voss, who notes how "sophisticated" the attack was. Rather than taking advantage of a weakness in the system—he likens it to a someone leaving a "door open"—"these people picked through several locks." They "worked their way around a good deal of security in order to get a very specific set of data. ... [and] they appear to know what file they wanted to go after." School officials, as well as state and federal law enforcement authorities and computer forensic investigators, are investigating, and the university will provide a year of free credit monitoring to anyone affected. (Read more University of Maryland stories.)