Thousands of former Iowa State University students’ Social Security numbers were on servers breached by hackers.
Iowa State University says there is no evidence the data files containing the confidential information were accessed but it is still warning nearly 30,000 former students to be vigilant about their identity protection.
“We have notified law enforcement, and we are contacting and encouraging those whose Social Security numbers were on the compromised servers to monitor their financial records,” says Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert.
ISU says the hackers gained access to the servers in an attempt to harness the computing power of the machines to generate bitcoins, an online currency that can be used to make anonymous purchases.
Former students whose information was on the hacked servers are being notified through mail and are being offered a year of free credit monitoring. Those students attended classes between 1995 and 2012.
The servers that were hacked have been removed and destroyed and fixes have been made to similar servers to prevent another incident. Those servers will be replaced as soon as possible.