Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Tufts warns of security breach

Filed under
Security

Alumni of Tufts University in Boston have been notified that personal information stored on a server used by the university for fundraising could have been exposed to intruders.

The university detected a possible security breach in an alumni and donor database after noticing abnormal activity on the server in October and December. The server was managed by a third-party vendor, according to a statement on Tufts' Web site. The incident is almost identical to a breach in March on a fundraising system used by Boston College and follows reports of other information theft incidents in recent months at California State University, Chico, and the University of California, Berkeley.

As a precaution, Tufts sent a letter on April 7 to 106,000 alumni and donors who could be affected by the breach. Tufts said it did not have any evidence that the information stored in the database was retrieved or misused, said Betsey Jay, director of advancement, communications and donor relations at Tufts.

The system in question belongs to the university but was running software from and being managed by RuffaloCODY, a software company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that assists nonprofit organizations with fundraising, membership and enrollment. The server was being used to support the university's Advancement telefund operation, in which students are paid to call alumni and other donors to solicit gifts for the university, Jay said.

Tufts detected a high volume of unusual behavior on the system that indicated it might have been used as a distribution point in a file-sharing network. However, university IT staff were not able to confirm that any sensitive files were copied or that there was misuse of information on the system, Jay said.

Tufts did not initially disclose the security breach but was prompted to do so after coverage of other recent security breaches, Jay said. "We started to realize that what we had seen wasn't confirmation of misuse but that we should give donors and alums the information [about the breach] as a precaution," she said.

In its letter, Tufts recommended that recipients of the letter notify their bank and ask credit bureaus to issue fraud alerts and check for any unusual activity in their name. The university also set up a toll-free support line to assist individuals whose information may have been compromised.

In March, Boston College notified 120,000 alumni that their Social Security numbers and other personal information might have been compromised. As with the incident at Tufts, that notice followed the discovery of a security breach on a third-party server that the university was using for fundraising.

BC is also a RuffaloCODY customer, according to information on RuffaloCODY's Web site. Both Tufts and BC are listed as customers of the company's CampusCall product, which is described as a phonathon automation tool. Other universities in Boston use the product as well, including MIT, Northeastern University and Harvard University Law School. However, Tufts and BC are both listed as managed sites while the other schools are not.
Calls to RuffaloCODY were not immediately returned.

The University of Massachusetts campus at Lowell is listed as a RuffaloCODY managed site as well, according to the company's Web page.

Jim Packard, an IT security specialist at UMass Lowell, said he has seen signs on campus that mentioned RuffaloCODY, but he wasn't sure whether the company operates a managed server on the campus. Calls to the UMass Lowell alumni office were not immediately returned.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Linux and Graphics

ASUS "Tinker Board"

  • Asus takes on Raspberry Pi with 4K-capable Tinker Board
    Tech giant Asus is taking on the Raspberry Pi with its own DIY-friendly single-board computer that's said to offer 4K video playback and 24-bit audio support in exchange for a hefty £55 price tag.
  • ASUS "Tinker Board" Powered By Rockchip ARM SoC, Supports Debian
    Making its rounds this morning as a "Raspberry Pi competitor" is the Tinker Board from ASUS. The Tinker Board is ASUS' take on an ARM SBC similar to what's already offered by a plethora of vendors. The Tinker Board features a quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 processor with ARM Mali T764 graphics and there is 2GB of DDR3 memory.

Fedora 24 Gnome & HP Pavilion + Nvidia setup review

This was an interesting ordeal. It took me about four hours to finish the configuration and polish the system, the maniacal Fedora update that always runs in the deep hundreds and sometimes even thousands of packages, the graphics stack setup, and finally, all the gloss and trim needed to have a functional machine. All in all, it works well. Fedora proved itself to be an adequate choice for the old HP machine, with decent performance and responsiveness, good hardware compatibility, fine aesthetics and functionality, once the extras are added, and only a small number of issues, some related to my laptop usage legacy. Not bad. Sure, the system could be faster, and Gnome isn't the best choice for olden hardware. But then, for something that was born in 2010, the HP laptop handles this desktop environment with grace, and it looks the part. Just proves that Red Hat makes a lot of sense once you release its essential oils and let the fragrance of extra software and codecs sweep you. It is your time to be enthused about this and commence your own testing. Read more Also: Inkscape 0.92 available in Fedora

Qt 5.9 feature freeze

  • Qt 5.9 feature freeze
  • Qt 5.9 Feature Freeze Soon, Adds Experimental Qt Quick OpenVG Backend
    While Qt 5.8 was just released yesterday, the feature freeze is already upon us for Qt 5.9 due to the v5.8 release having been dragged out from November to this week. The feature freeze for Qt 5.9 development is 2 February, but beginning tomorrow will already be the soft-branching from the "dev" to "5.9" branches. Release manager Jani Heikkinen put out the reminder this morning about feature development drawing to a close.
  • Qt 5.8 Massive Release Lets You Create Devices with Multiple UI Processes, More
    It took the Qt developers more than two and a half months to finish the feature set of Qt 5.8, the next major release of the multiplatform and open-source software development framework for creating modern graphical user interfaces for mobile and desktop platforms. Qt 5.8 is everything you love about Qt, but faster, more powerful, and lighter. It improves the cross-platform compatibility for Linux, Android, macOS, and Microsoft Windows accelerating your development of beautiful products for any device, including Internet of Things (IoT). Qt 5.8 introduces a new way to configure Qt for your needs thanks to a new project codenamed Qt Lite.
  • Qt SCXML and State Chart Support in Qt Creator
    Qt has provided support for state machine based development since introduction of Qt State Machine Framework in Qt 4.6. With the new functionality introduced in Qt 5.8 and Qt Creator 4.2 state machine based development is now easier than ever before.