Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Data Breach Exposes Millions of Student Loan Accounts

September 1, 2022

Surprise! Another data breach affecting higher education, however this one is geared towards student loans. Will McCurdy of Techradar, recently published an article about the data breach, which you can find here.

Student loan servicer, Nelnet Servicing, suffered the breach. The Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA) and EdFinancial were affected by the data breach. Accounts of over 2.5 million individuals were exposed due to the breach.

Information sent to the affected service providers by Nelnet stated that “the breach did not involve the leakage of any financial data, but that the exposed information did include full names, physical addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers.”

Both providers are offering their customers two years of access to Experian’s identity protection service, IdentityWorksSM. McCurdy writes “EdFinancial is also encouraging its customers to educate themselves about identity fraud and to carefully review their account statements over the next 24 months for suspicious activity.”

The alert to the two providers stems from the digital forensic investigation performed by Nelnet in a breach that was discovered in July, according to letters from EdFinancial. “On August 17, 2022, this investigation determined that certain student loan account registration information was accessible by an unknown party beginning in June 2022 and ending on July 22, 2022,” the letter states.

It’s becoming commonplace to see data breaches in the news these days. There’s a lot of information out there and people who want it will extort, buy or sell that information. It’s imperative that all institutions take steps to secure the data they are collecting from their users. While tools like free monitoring and advising customers on how to watch for identity theft are nice, it would be even better if consumers didn’t have to worry about the safety of their data.

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