Data leak raises questions 

Computer users notified of possible security breach, compromise of personal information

Data leak raises questions

Illustration by Maddie Edgerton

“I regret to inform you that a UNLV computer was compromised and may have allowed possible loss of some of your personal data.  We have reported this incident to the information security officer and a full investigation is underway…”

The College of Sciences recently sent this statement in a letter to about 20 students as officials became aware of a virus affecting a computer in the college.

“[The college] found out no information was leaked, but for legal reasons they still had to send out the letter,” said Victor Barragan, CSUN Senate president and former sciences senator.

The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents and UNLV have procedures in place to protect information security, notify those whose sensitive information was or may be compromised and investigate the nature of the security breach.

Suspected policy violations are investigated by the Office of Information Technology security officer and the appropriate office.  Offenders may be subject to both criminal prosecution and civil liability.

UNLV’s security policy does not allow for comment on the specifics of any security breach case.

According to the Information Security Office, if personal information has been compromised but has not been immediately misused, students should watch their financial statements carefully for signs of identity theft.

Identity theft is a crime in which personal information, such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers are used to assume another person’s identity to commit fraud or other crimes.

The Federal Trade Commission ranks Nevada second in the nation in reported identity theft per capita.

As a result of the Graham-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, financial institutions are required to enact measures to safeguard the security of customers’ financial information.

The FTC determined that institutions of higher education fall within this category because they house student loan information and Social Security numbers.

Those whose information has been stolen and used fraudulently are encouraged to review and place a fraud alert on their credit reports, close any accounts that are believed to have been tampered with or opened fraudulently, file a report with a local law enforcement agency, apply for a Nevada Identity Theft Passport and file a complaint with the FTC.