Feeds

York Uni exposes students' private info

17,000 sets of details fall through website holes

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

The University of York has leaked confidential personal information on students due to website security vulnerabilities.

Details including mobile phone numbers, addresses and A-Level grades of an estimated 17,000 students were exposed as a result of the breach.

University administrators have reported the incident to privacy watchdogs at the Information Comissioners Office. Meanwhile an internal investigation is taking place.

The sensitive data was exposed on a student inquiry page of the university's website accessible to world + dog, not just faculty members, and without any need to log into the site. The student union was expressed particular concern that students’ registered emergency contacts were also exposed by the breach, an aspect of the snafu that meant the breach also affected friends and family of students.

University authorities have admitted the breach and apologised to the affected students as well as promising to tighten up security at the tertiary education facility, the BBC reports.

Aziz Maakaroun, business development director at a vulnerability management specialist Outpost24, said the breach stemmed from a failure to follow best practices on website security.

“Vulnerabilities in websites make it all too easy for hackers to tamper with the content – in this case, posting personal data on the student enquiry page of the University’s public website," Maakaroun said. "To stop this from happening, it is vital that organisations take a more proactive approach to their security by continually scanning for web vulnerabilities which hackers find relatively easy to exploit.” ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.