Butler University warns of identity theft risk

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Leaders at Butler University have drafted a letter warning recipients of a possible breach of personal information.

In the notification letter obtained by 24-Hour News 8, the school’s president Jim Danko wrote that the university was contacted by authorities in California on May 28, 2014. Investigators alerted Butler that they had a suspect in custody who had a flash drive holding personal information of certain university employees.

Through an internal investigation, Butler officials discovered someone hacked the school’s network sometime between November 2013 and May 2014, the letter stated.

“Third-party computer forensics experts were retained by Butler University to confirm these findings and to identify the full extent of data potentially exposed as a result of this incident,” Danko wrote.

According to the school, the hacker(s) had access to files containing names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers.

The university said approximately 163,000 people could have been affected by the breach. That included students, faculty and staff as well as former and current applicants.

“We like to think we were pretty well protected, I think the likes of Target and Facebook and others feel the same way but yet these hackers are smart; they’re stealthy and they find a way,” Butler University spokesman Michael Kaltenmark said.

According to Kaltenmark, university leaders have started reviewing policies on how records will be kept in the future.

“Certainly too early to talk about those but I think it goes without saying that changes will be made so that in the future if something like this happens, we can really safeguard ourselves against this large number of records being exposed,” Kaltenmark said.

Butler has offered resources to people who think their personal information may have been compromised. The letter included an activation code to sign up for a complimentary membership to a fraud protection service called Experian. The code must be used by September 30, 2014. Butler has also established an assistance phone line staffed by professionals trained in identity protection and restoration, Danko said.

The assistance line could be reached Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. A reference number of 8867061014 should be used when calling 888-414-8021.

 

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