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Data Breach at Iowa State U. Exposes Nearly 30,000 Social Security Numbers

The Social Security numbers of 29,780 students have been exposed in a data breach at Iowa State University, officials announced on Tuesday.

The university’s information-technology staff discovered a breach that affected five departmental servers containing information on students enrolled from 1995 to 2012. The servers also contained university ID numbers for 18,949 students.

University officials don’t believe the students’ personal information was the target of the attack. Rather, they said, the servers had been hacked “to generate enough computer power to create Bitcoins”—the digital currency. Those whose Social Security numbers were exposed will receive one year of credit monitoring, paid for by the university, through the identity-protection company AllClear.

Law-enforcement officials have been notified, the university said, and Iowa State will send mail notifications to affected students this week.

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