University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

Summary: The University of York has leaked 17,000 students' data on its website 'by mistake', which could be the biggest breach of student data in the UK to date.

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TOPICS: Big Data
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The University of York, England has published a vast quantity of private student data on its website, detailing the personal details of some 17,000 students, including mobile phone numbers, dates of birth, and qualification grades from earlier education.

The breach, which occurred last week, has been reported to the UK data protection registrar, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The university apologised for the breach of data and initiated a security review of the systems it has in place.

It is unclear whether this is was a result of a disgruntled employee or whether it was a genuine mistake on the part of the university.

Users of the website could access the records of all university staff, faculty members and registered students, totalling nearly 17,000 records. The page in question was not protected by a password wall, meaning anyone and everyone could access the leaked data.

 But as a result of the breach, it also exposed a number of external third-party details such as emergency contacts and the names and numbers of family members.

The ICO has the power to fine organisations up to £500,000 ($800,000) and impose criminal sanctions on organisations or businesses which breach Europe's strict guidelines on data protection.

However, it was the university's own student-run newspaper which discovered the data breach in the first place.

The university was 'unavailable for comment' at the time.

Topic: Big Data

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16 comments
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  • RE: University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    Don't worry, your private data is safe with us...

    Concerned?

    I really think you ought to sit back, take a stress pill, and think things over, Dave.
    bb_apptix
  • NOT Worried!

    Thjere is no privacy, face it people~!
    nomoreds
  • RE: University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    Actually, for anyone who bothered to read the original article on which this blog post is based, the data breach consisted on 17,000 RECORDS belonging to 148 students. I guess a little truth in the article title wouldn't have resulted in as many clicks. Never let a little truth get in the way of sensationalizing a mediocre article.

    - Snuffy -
    Snuffy.
  • RE: University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    Here is the link to the original report by BBC which says 148 students data and NOT 17000!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-12756951
    ssagar
    • RE: University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

      @ssagar I know - the BBC can only officially confirm what it absolutely knows first hand (BBC rules), whereas many other news outlets are reporting the entire university directory / data system was available.
      zwhittaker
  • RE: University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    The student paper screwed over their own school. The issue could have been resolved by informing their own IT people and would have avoided the massive fine. The money for the fine doesn't come out of thin air!
    bferman@...
  • RE: University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    red-faced
    diffy631
  • RE: University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    Eeh, half of them probably had it posted in their Facebook profiles anyway. As for the other half? Well, that sucks, DUH.
    jmwells21
  • Message has been deleted.

    adaho
  • RE: University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    It was "up to" 17000 published or potentially exposed and 148 accessed after publication.
    tenrun@...
  • RE: University in 'serious' death breach; Publishes 17,000 students' deaths

    Oops that just happened to be a typo. Now there are that many dead, not just a data breach.<br>Media has a way of playing people, American media is the best at it, because they can sue and get sued for billions, they tend to write a lot of non or half truths.
    PINASCOPY
  • University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    I really think you ought to sit back, take a stress pill, and think things over, Dave
    panda88
  • University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    * It is meaningful information. Thank for your posting. I hope to see more than that.
    orangejuice89
  • University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    Excellent! It is a successful article. The information is very useful. Thank so much!
    orangejuice89
  • University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    I guess a little truth in the article title wouldn't have resulted in as many clicks. Thanks for sharing!
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  • University in 'serious' data breach; Publishes 17,000 students' data

    The student paper screwed over their own school. The issue could have been resolved by informing their own IT people and would have avoided the massive fine.
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    pink89