Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Leaks Found in Louisiana University Systems

Student uncovers 150 documents containing personal information on 80,000 individuals

Aaron Titus, a law school student in Louisiana, wanted to prove a point about user privacy. So he started Googling -- and ended up with names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and other personal data on some 80,000 students and employees in the state's university system.

Titus revealed his findings to a local television news station, WDSU, which issued a report yesterday. The FBI and the Louisiana Board of Regents are investigating the leak.

According to the WDSU report, Titus found much of the information on an internal Internet site operated by the Board of Regents, which oversees all of the state's higher education. Most of the network was password-protected, but the area containing the most potentially dangerous data -- including thousands of student Social Security numbers -- was not, he said.

"I was astounded when I saw all this information up -- not protected, not behind a firewall, out in the open where anybody in the entire world can get to it," Titus told WDSU. "I'd be shaking in my boots. I'd be really, really freaked out. All of my information is available to anyone who wants it right now."

Titus found a list of student names and personal data, as well 150 other files that he said contain up to 75,000 more names of students and employees. For example, he was able to pull up a list of administrators and instructors at South Louisiana Community College that includes Social Security numbers.

Law professor Julian Murray told WDSU that the Louisiana Constitution guarantees the right to privacy, including Social Security numbers, and that those affected could conceivably file a class-action lawsuit against the Board of Regents.

"I don't think they can ever answer civilly or morally for what they've done," Murray said.

Commissioner of Education Joe Savoie told the TV station that the Board of Regents was grateful that Titus reported the leak. "In some ways, we're thankful that you found it, because it showed a deficiency in some of our programs, and we were able to stop it," he said. "Now we are going to try to mitigate any damage."

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/17/2020
Cybersecurity Bounces Back, but Talent Still Absent
Simone Petrella, Chief Executive Officer, CyberVista,  9/16/2020
Meet the Computer Scientist Who Helped Push for Paper Ballots
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/16/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-25789
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in Tiny Tiny RSS (aka tt-rss) before 2020-09-16. The cached_url feature mishandles JavaScript inside an SVG document.
CVE-2020-25790
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
** DISPUTED ** Typesetter CMS 5.x through 5.1 allows admins to upload and execute arbitrary PHP code via a .php file inside a ZIP archive. NOTE: the vendor disputes the significance of this report because "admins are considered trustworthy"; however, the behavior "contradicts our secu...
CVE-2020-25791
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with unit().
CVE-2020-25792
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with pair().
CVE-2020-25793
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with From<InlineArray<A, T>>.