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Possible Computer Data Breach at Eastern Maine Community College Affects Students and Staffs


EMCC in Bangor, Maine, has reported a data security breach after they got to know that some of the computers in the college were infected with malware. Personal information of employees, associated with EMCC of Bangor, and of around 42,000 current and past students might have been stolen by a computer virus.


A spokesperson of EMCC stated in one of its e-mails that "out of an abundance of caution, the college is notifying some 42,000 current and former students and employees of the possibility that personal information was exposed as a result of the infection."


A warning was issued by the school on 17 August that though any direct data loss as a result of the infection was not found, there is a possibility that some personal data such as name, Social Security Number, date of birth, and address, as well as a few usernames and passwords belonging to the college domain along with email accounts might have been accessed.


As per a statement issued on 17 August, 2018, the victims of the breach are supposedly the students of the school from the year 1998 summer to 2018 summer, and also the employees working between the year 2008 and 2018.


"We very much regret the inconvenience or concern this incident may cause. EMCC takes seriously the protection of personal information, and our efforts to improve and strengthen our electronic security are ongoing," said Lisa Larson, EMCC President, on 17 August.


The EMCC President further added that it is really unfortunate that various institutions all over the world are more and more becoming targets of the hackers, as it happened in the case of EMCC.


EMOTET is found to be the malware that is involved in this EMCC incident, which as per the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is one of the most harmful malware existing on the internet. Once a user clicks or opens a malicious document or a link, the malware starts infecting the computer. The moment the malware gets downloaded into a system, its worm-like properties spread through rapidly causing a network-wide infection that is very hard to combat.


EMCC spokesperson said that they have reported this incident to the law enforcement. The spokesperson further added that they are investigating on the breach and checking security protocols of the college. They have also made available identity restoration services and free credit monitoring to the affected individuals.

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