U-Md. Extends Credit Protection Coverage to 5 Years After Large Data Breach

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Updated: 5:58 p.m. Feb. 25, 2014
Posted: 6:55 a.m. Feb. 25, 2014

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The University of Maryland has lengthened the time of free credit monitoring it will offer to the hundreds of thousands of people whose personal information was compromised during a data breach.

President Wallace Loh said in a statement posted Tuesday on the university’s website that those affected will be offered five years of free credit monitoring. Loh had previously announced that the university would provide one year of free monitoring.

The breach that was discovered Feb. 18 compromised the names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and University identification numbers of more than 300,000 students, faculty, staff and affiliated personnel from the College Park and Shady Grove campuses who have been issued a University ID since 1998.

Potential victims of the data breach can call information service firm Experian to register for the free credit protection services.

According to the data security page on the U-Md. website, operators at Experian are standing by at 1-866-274-3891 to help people register for the free five-year plan of credit monitory.

Due to the breach, Experian has experienced a very high volume of calls, and Loh said people should call back if they can’t get through to an operator.

Loh said people who have already registered with Experian for the free one-year credit protection plan will automatically have their plan upgraded to the full five years and won’t need to call Experian again.

All coverage is retroactive to the date of the breach, Loh said.

Loh also said Tuesday that as state and federal law enforcers, including the U.S. Secret Service, continue to investigate the attack, he is ordering an investigation of the school’s computer systems.

“Universities are a focus in today’s global assaults on IT systems,” Loh wrote. “We recently doubled the number of our IT security engineers and analysts. We also doubled our investment in top-end security tools. Obviously, we need to do more and better, and we will.”

Those interested in the free five-year credit protection program must register for the service by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 31.

The University encourages those with questions to contact datasecurity@umd.edu.

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