Hackers Expose 75,000 Social Security Numbers from University of Wisconsin

Paul Lilly

While Anonymous plots the destruction of Facebook and Lulzsec remains on the lam, another hacker (or group of hackers) decided to kick it old school by planting malware on a computer system at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The security breach exposed the social security numbers of thousands of students, faculty, and staff, and if that's what the party responsible was after, the numbers could end up on the underground market.

UWM head Tom Luljak feels confident there was an ulterior motive, and says there isn't evidence any of the personal data data, which included both names and SS numbers, was even viewed, let alone stolen.

"Talking to the forensic experts, we don't believe the motive was identity theft," said Tom Luljak . "We are a research institution with a significant number of projects under way. It is theorized that this may have been an attempt to look at work being done."

UWM of residents would be wise to follow closely their credit reports. While Luljak is confident UWM's projects were the main target, the malware provided backdoor access into a UWM database that serves as an image bank for several departments for managing documents, including student applications.

"We don't believe anyone got access to the image bank," Luljak said. "There is no evidence that the hackers actually looked at or retrieved information."

At the same time, Luljak isn't entirely sure how long the malware sat on the system, though officials say it was there "for a short period of time." It was installed remotely.

Image Credit: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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