Responding to possible U of M data breach

This past July 15, a hacker on the “dark web” claimed they had gained access to University records with more than seven million Social Security numbers. As of this writing (September 9), the University had not explicitly confirmed the breach. However, a U of M spokesman told KARE 11 in late August that an investigation was launched and law enforcement was contacted as soon as the claim was discovered.

The University has urged those who are concerned about the security of their records to take actions outlined by the Federal Trade Commission to help protect yourself from identity theft

For Social Security number breaches, the primary recommendation is to put a freeze on your credit reports at any of the three major credit rating services. 

Freezing your credit will keep others from applying for credit in your name. (If you need to apply for credit yourself, you can temporarily or permanently lift your security freeze.) You should also closely monitor credit card and bank statements for anything unusual.

These measures are in addition to general recommendations for protecting your online presence that were outlined during an UMRA workshop presentation by U of M Security Analyst Jenny Blaine three years ago. 

—Ron Matross, UMRA past president (2022–23)