Social security numbers at risk in possible university data breach


The social security numbers of employees have potentially been exposed by a suspected data breach at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.

KSTP reports that the U.S Secret Service is investigating the possible breach in mid-December in which someone gained unauthorized access to a university server that contained personal information of faculty, staff and students.

While the university has confirmed there was no financial data or credit card information on the accessed servers, but did admit that employee social security numbers were listed on several databases.

"While our investigation may take several weeks to establish the nature and scope of the likely breach, out of an abundance of caution and with the goal of full transparency, we have communicated to our faculty, staff and students to make them aware of what we do know about this situation," said Devinder Malhotra, PhD, Interim President, told KSTP.

"As our investigation progresses, we will share the results, contact affected individuals, and confirm if data were compromised."

In a Q&A page on its website, the university has said it learned about the suspected breach on Jan. 2, when information about the hack was posted on a blog site, and at this stage still does not know how many people are affected.

Even though it has said no financial data was on the accessed servers, it has advised people associated with the university monitor their accounts for any unusual activity.

In response, the university has tightened up its security procedures and is moving its website to a new server.

If the breach is confirmed, the university would become the latest in a growing line of Minnesota organizations to fall victim to data hackers, which includes the major data breach of Minneapolis-based Target, which affected 110 million shoppers.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-21 at 5.14.36 PM

Mayor Carter announces COVID vaccine mandate for St. Paul city workers

It comes after Minneapolis announced the requirement for vaccines or regular testing for city workers in September.

two twelve medical center chaska GSV

Ridgeview cutting hours at 2 Minnesota urgent care locations

Hours of operation at a third location are also being shifted earlier.

Flickr - QFamily - Ben Jerrys

Latest to wade into Mpls. Question 2 debate is ... Ben & Jerry's?

The ice cream business said it supports the creation of a Department of Public Safety.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Mpls. candidate tries to 'set the record straight' about where he lives

Questions about Ward 9 candidate Mickey Moore's residency are quickly piling up.

Screen Shot 2021-10-21 at 1.49.16 PM

COVID-19 case rate drops in 51 of 87 Minnesota counties

Four of the 10 lowest case rates are metro-area counties.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

Allina mental health workers vote to unionize

Concerns over safety led the workers to unionize.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Minnesota reports COVID deaths of teen student, 2 school staffers

Cases in schools rose again in the past week, though there are signs cases may have peaked.

Proctor football

Investigation of alleged misconduct on Proctor football team nears conclusion

The football team canceled its season and the coach subsequently resigned.

minnesota house of representatives

Minnesota House will continue hybrid operations, require masks in 2022

The Speaker of the House announced the plans in a memo to members and staff on Thursday.