U.Md. to extend credit monitoring for data breach victims

WASHINGTON – The University of Maryland will extend the length of time victims of last week’s data breach can receive free credit monitoring.

University President Wallace Loh Tuesday apologized again for the breach and called for more changes to better protect student and staff members’ personal information.

Tuesday was the first day students, alumni, staff and faculty could call a hotline to determine whether their Social Security numbers and dates of birth were caught up in the breach and to secure one year of free crediting monitoring. The hotline operated by Experian crashed under the flood of calls.

U.Md. Hotline

To register for the five years of credit monitoring, call Experian at 1-866-274-3891.

Find more information at www.umd.edu/datasecurity.

The extended, five-year coverage will be covered by the university. Anyone who already signed up for the one year of monitoring will automatically receive the additional coverage, the university says.

Additionally, the university will host seminars on identity theft to help students, staff, alumni and faculty safegaurd their data.

Loh pledged a complete review of all campus computer systems, include databases that were created years ago. Some information could be purged and other data better protected. A report with additional recommendations is expected in the next three months.

Despite doubling its IT security staff and cybersecurity spending in 2012, Loh said there is no sure barrier against skilled cyber attacks.

“There is an arms race between hackers playing offense and universities playing defense,” Loh says in a letter to the university community.

The attack remains under investigation.

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