Blackburn College Data Breach

By
Will Gendron
Mar 11, 2024 10:37 AM
The Blackburn College data breach potentially exposed personal information of 3,039 individuals across the U.S., including names, Blackburn email addresses and passwords, and Social Security numbers. The college is offering free credit monitoring services and advises affected individuals to stay vigilant, consider a security freeze, place fraud alerts, and obtain credit reports.
Blackburn College Data Breach

What Happened?

On December 14, 2023, Blackburn College experienced a network security incident that was swiftly detected and halted. An unauthorized third party gained access to and disabled some of the college's systems. Blackburn College, with the assistance of third-party forensic specialists, took immediate action to secure the network and investigate the scope of the breach.

By February 6, 2024, the investigation concluded that while there was no evidence of data acquisition by the unauthorized party, personal information of individuals associated with Blackburn College could have been accessed. The potential data accessed includes first and last names, Blackburn email addresses, and Blackburn email address passwords for current, former, or prospective students, and first and last names along with Social Security numbers for employees. This information was used for standard enrollment, administrative, and organizational purposes.

Despite no reports of misuse of the information, the possibility remains that personal data was compromised during the incident. Blackburn College has taken this matter seriously, implementing additional security measures and reviewing their policies to prevent future occurrences.

For further details, you can review the disclosures on the Maine Attorney General's website and the Massachusetts Attorney General's website.

Next Steps for Affected Individuals

If you believe you may be affected by this data breach, Blackburn College has taken steps to assist you:

  • Credit Monitoring Services: Blackburn College is offering access to Single Bureau Credit Monitoring services at no charge for twelve months from the date of enrollment. These services include alerts for changes to your credit file and proactive fraud assistance. To enroll, visit Identity Force and use the unique code provided in the Notice to Consumers.
  • Fraud Alerts: You have the option to place fraud alerts on your credit files. This can be done through Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian.
  • Security Freeze: You may also place a security freeze on your credit report to prevent new credit, loans, and services from being approved without your consent. This can be requested via certified mail or online at the websites of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
  • Vigilance: Keep an eye on your account statements and credit reports for any suspicious activity.
  • File a Police Report: If you experience identity fraud, you have the right to file a police report.

For more information on how to protect yourself, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission or your state Attorney General's office.

Contact Information

Should you have further questions or concerns, Blackburn College has provided a dedicated phone line through TransUnion. You can reach them at 1-833-770-0713, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Blackburn College values the security of personal data and expresses its commitment to safeguarding all personal information entrusted to them. They understand the concern this incident may cause and are working diligently to support all those affected.

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