UNC-CH offers credit reporting to people affected by data breach

Dec. 23, 2013 @ 06:05 PM

For people affected by an inadvertent online disclosure of electronic information managed by a school division, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is offering a one-year subscription to a credit monitoring service.

According to a news release from the university, the service checks a person’s credit activity at all three credit bureaus. It will be offered at the university’s expense.

The university is notifying people directly about how they can pursue the credit monitoring service, in addition to other, free measures available to safeguard their credit, the release states.

The incident, discovered last month, risked unauthorized online access to personal information of approximately 6,500 current and former employees, vendors and students.

An information technology manager in the UNC Division of Finance and Administration was informed Nov. 11 that some electronic files managed by the Division of Facilities Services inadvertently became accessible on the Internet.

The files contained names and Social Security or Employee Tax Identification numbers and in some instances, addresses and dates of birth, of some current and former employees, vendors and students.

When they learned about the incident, university officials took steps to block access to the files and began an investigation. As of Nov. 23, the records were no longer accessible on the Internet.

Officials believed that on July 30, during maintenance of a computer, the safeguards that protested the files against public access were accidentally disabled. As part of Google Inc.’s automated processes, the files were copied and made public. Google took them down at the university’s request.