Faculty of Business Administration websites accessed by unknown party

Aug. 28, 2012
The Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University advises the public that unauthorized access of its website by an unknown party was discovered earlier this week.

The unauthorized access was discovered on Monday, Aug. 20, and IT staff immediately took steps to protect the confidential information of students, faculty, staff and clients. All confidential information was secured on a different server and, as a precaution, websites for the faculty and the Gardiner Centre were taken offline.

The subsequent investigation determined that files containing some student identification numbers, grades and samples of student work may have been accessed. The full names of some students and instructors involved in business courses may also have been accessed.

Other confidential information related to students and courses, such as mailing addresses and email addresses, are stored on servers not affected by the breach and are not considered at risk. IT staff are continuing the investigation to determine whether other personal information, if any, may have been compromised.

“The security of the personal information of our students, staff and clients is of the utmost priority and we are taking this incident very seriously,” said Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean of the Faculty of Business Administration. “Our staff acted quickly to prevent confidential information from being further compromised and we are taking steps to prevent similar data breaches in the future.”

The investigation of this incident, which involves the Information Access and Privacy Protection office at Memorial, is ongoing. The faculty will attempt to contact all individuals who may have been impacted by this data breach as soon as possible but individuals who are concerned they may be affected are encouraged to contact Susan White-MacPherson, communications co-ordinator, for more information at susanwm@mun.ca.

The faculty website (www.business.mun.ca) – now on a different server – was put back online on Wednesday afternoon. Staff are working to restore the Gardiner Centre website as soon as possible.


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