Oregon State University announced on Friday, June 14 that the personal information of 636 students and their families were potentially exposed in May, when a university employee fell for a “phishing” scheme, compromising their email account and the information contained in it.
“Phishing” is the use of seemingly official or important emails asking the recipient to provide their security information, like usernames and passwords. These messages are actually deceptive, designed to compromise email accounts which can be used to gain access to personal information or further email accounts.
An investigation of the incident revealed the compromised account contained names, birthdates, and Social Security numbers of both current and prospective students as well as their family members.
“While we have no indication at this time that the personal information was seen or used, OSU has notified these students and family members of this incident,” said Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president of marketing and relations. The university is offering free support services to those affected, including 12 months of credit monitoring.
OSU has also established a call center for affected students seeking more information about the incident and services the university is offering in response. They can be reached at 541-713-0400.
By Ian MacRonald