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Feb 04, 2016 11:56 AM EST

UCF Reports Data Breach that Compromised 63,000 Social Security Numbers

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The University of Central Florida revealed it experienced a data breach that resulted in the personal information of tens of thousands of students and faculty being compromised.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, the school reported the breach Thursday and estimated the Social Security numbers and names of 63,000 of its employees and students both current and former were hacked. UCF plans to issue letters to people whose information was compromised on Friday.

UCF issued a news release Thursday stating the data breach was first discovered in Jan., and though the school did not specify when it happened, it said it reported the matter to law enforcement immediately. During its own investigation, UCF determined no credit card numbers or financial, medial, or academic records were ever at risk.

"Safeguarding your personal information is of the utmost importance at UCF," the school's president John C. Hitt, said in an email to the campus community. "To ensure our vigilance, I have called for a thorough review of our online systems, policies and training to determine what improvements we can make in light of this recent incident.

"Every day, people and groups attempt to illegally access secure data from institutions around the world. Higher education institutions are popular targets. UCF will continue to work diligently to protect this important information from those who would break the law to get it."

UCF will offer to foot the bill for a year of online data protection for those affected by the hack. The school also set up a hotline (877-752-5527) and a website (ucf.edu/datasecurity) for anyone who wants more information.

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