Together with law enforcement, theUniversity of Nebraska is investigating a security breach into the NebraskaStudent Information System, the electronic database that contains personalrecords for students, alumni and applicants of the university's four campuses.
The university is alerting individuals with bank accounts associated with the student information system -- via email and personal letter -- and advising themto monitor their accounts closely and report any suspicious activity to theirfinancial institutions.
Data for the Nebraska State College System, which isalso housed in NeSIS, does not appear at this time to have been breached butthat investigation is continuing.
The breach was discovered lateWednesday night by a university technical staff member. Technical staff tookimmediate corrective action to stop the breach and prevent further unauthorizedaccess to individuals' personal information.
Joshua Mauk, NU informationsecurity officer, stressed that at this time there is no clear evidence thatany information was downloaded, and that the notification to individuals isbeing done out of an abundance of caution.
The NeSIS database includes SocialSecurity numbers, addresses, grades, transcripts, housing and financial aidinformation for current and former NU students as well as student applicantswho may or may not have attended NU.
The database includes information foralumni as far back as spring 1985.
According to Mauk, the universityis working with local and federal law enforcement to determine the extent ofthe breach and to what degree, if any, individuals' personal information mayhave been compromised.
Police are currently pursuing leads in the case, but nofurther information is available. NU also has hired a leading firm specializingin data breaches to assist in a forensics investigation.
"The University of Nebraska takesthe protection of student and alumni information very seriously. Right nowwe're focused on determining the exact nature of the breach and communicatingwith those who may have been affected," Mauk said. "We are working with lawenforcement and forensics experts to thoroughly reconstruct this incident sothat we can identify limitations in our system and put new safeguards in placefor the future."
Mauk added, "We deeply regret anyconcern or inconvenience this incident may cause our students or alumni."
The university has created awebsite, http://nebraska.edu/security,where concerned individuals can submit questions and view the most currentinformation related to the breach and ongoing investigation. The universitywill establish a toll-free service center if needed.