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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Social Security numbers of former UF students leaked on Web site

More than 400 former UF students might have been put at risk for identity theft after their Social Security numbers were posted on UF's Computing & Networking Services Web site.

A news release from the Liberty Coalition, a group that works to preserve the privacy of individuals, said 14 files on the Web site contained "sensitive information" of 534 former UF students, including 415 Social Security numbers.

All the individuals were former students of Richard Elnicki, a professor of information systems and operations management, and had taken classes ISM 4220 or ISM 4330 with him between 1998 and 2001, the release stated.

Many of the files had been online since 1998.

The release stated that the files were on a Computer & Networking Services server that required a password to upload files, though the public could download the files without a password.

The files were immediately removed by UF officials, who also worked with major search engines to clear their caches of the information, the release stated.

Steve Orlando, UF spokesman, said UF's investigation showed the numbers were posted in Elnicki's gradebook before UFID numbers.

Those who suspect their Social Security numbers were posted can search their names on the Web site, Orlando said.

Only about 350 numbers were posted, and the Computing & Networking Services Web site's logs indicated nobody had accessed the information in five years, he said.

UF is trying to find how the numbers ended up online and also reach those who might have been affected, he said.

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