August 30, 2014

Yale Warns 43,000 People That Their Social Security Numbers Were Publicly Available via Google

(LiveHacking.Com) - Yale University has revealed that the names and Social Security numbers of some 43,000 students, faculty staff, and alumni have been available to Google search engine users for the past 10 months.

Although there is no indication that the information has been exploited, Yale has established a response center to answer questions from anyone affiliated with the University in 1999. The university is also offering two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance.

The information was stored on a file transfer protocol (FTP) server used primarily for open source materials. In September 2010, Google modified its search engine to start indexing FTP servers. As a result the file was index by the Google spider. Yale as worked with Google to ensure that the file has been deleted from their index and also the university has confirmed that other search engines, such as Yahoo!, do not index FTP servers.

“We immediately blocked that server from the Internet, removed the file and did a complete scan of the server to make sure there were no additional at-risk files,” Information Technology Services Director Len Peters said.

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