Data breach at University of Minnesota may have involved personal information dating back to 1989

A recent data breach at the University of Minnesota potentially compromised the security of private information, according to a press release.

The University of Minnesota learned on July 21 that a person was claiming to have posted on the Internet certain admissions, race and ethnicity information held in a University database. The university initiated an investigation and engaged forensics professionals to assess whether the claim was credible. 

The investigation determined a person likely gained unauthorized access to a University database in 2021. According to the University’s investigation, the incident potentially affected individuals who submitted information as prospective students, attended the university as a student, worked at the university as an employee, or participated in university programs between 1989 and August 2021. 

The potentially affected information may include an individual’s full name, address, phone number, Social Security number, driver’s license or passport information, university identification number, birthday and demographic information, admissions applications, employment information, as well as other information provided to the university. 

The investigation showed no evidence that donation, medical treatment, password, or credit card information was in the database. 

According to the university, it has increased its vigilance in securing information that it maintains. Scans of the university’s electronic systems have not revealed ongoing suspicious activity related to this incident. They also have taken steps to improve its overall system security, including increasing data access control measures, limiting the number of people authorized access to sensitive information, and expanding multifactor authentication. 

The university has also been working with law enforcement and regulatory officials. The University says they are also offering potentially affected individuals 12 months of free credit and identity monitoring services through its contractor, Kroll. 

Individuals may also obtain access to a report that the university will prepare on the investigation, once complete. If you have any questions the university has provided a toll-free assistance line that has been established for incident-related questions. You can contact them at 866-731-3070, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.