The University of Tasmania has confirmed that 19,900 of its students were caught up in a data breach after security settings on shared files were “unintentionally configured incorrectly”.
The breach made the personal information of students accessible to all users with a utas.edu.au email address.
UTAS has today contacted affected students, but believed there was no evidence that the breach was caused by “malicious activity”.
UTAS vice-chancellor Rufus Black said the university had engaged independent experts to assist in its response to the data breach.
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“We have undertaken a thorough review of how this information became accessible and took immediate steps to ensure it is secure,” he said.
“This morning, we contacted every student affected by this incident to explain what had happened, to apologise, and to offer support.”
Experts in national identity and cyber support services, IDCARE, have also been engaged to provide support with dedicated case managers to develop “tailored response plans”.
The university has notified the privacy regulator, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, of the breach.
Any students concerned about the data breach can contact a dedicated support line on 1800 019 897.