For years, I’ve been hearing about these big-time security breaches where hackers or somesuch mischievous types grab a hold of a whole bunch of social security numbers and crap like that. And for years I’ve been yawning and going about my business.
Georgetown University, my alma mater, had some 38,000 names and SSNs stolen from the student activities office in the Leavey Center (GU’s wholly subpar student center). Friends have gotten this e-mail:
Dear Current or Former Students, Faculty and Staff:
We are writing to inform you that you are among a group of individuals whose personally identifiable information such as name and social security number may have been exposed due to a recent computer theft on campus. We regret this incident and wanted to alert you via email as soon as possible after completing our investigation of the nature and scope of the data at issue. Recognizing the seriousness of this incident and the concern we share for the personal security of those within our community, we are making arrangements to provide free credit monitoring services for you….
A thorough internal investigation of the data that was contained on the hard drive has now determined that the hard drive included personally identifiable information for students enrolled and some faculty and staff from 1998 through 2006. Since the files related to a range of cross-campus student financial transactions processed through the Office of Student Affairs, it pertained to students enrolled at the Main, Medical and Law Center campuses. No financial information, such as bank account or credit card numbers, was contained in the hard drive. This incident is limited to this one hard drive and does not extend to other University systems and services where personal data may be stored or updated.
Currently, I’m freaking the fuck out, fixated on how all my dreams of home ownership and car ownership and career success and old age and are all but certainly going up in flames! WHAT WILL I DO!?!?!
(Actually, I’m pretty chill, ’cause for all those years I’ve been hearing about these huge security breaches, I’ve yet to hear a single story about some dude who got his identity stolen because of it. And, hey, free credit monitoring! Long live blissful ignorance!)