security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

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juliewongferra
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security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

Post by juliewongferra » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:01 pm

Bogleheads,

The scammed out of personal info (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=284713) thread got me thinking about a recent experience...in which I didn't even get the chance to give my info away because someone else already had it.

I recently got a letter from Georgia Institute of Technology (c/o ID Experts) referencing a security data breach. I was skeptical, because the letter essentially said very little except that they were offering 1-year membership in identity protection (from ID Experts) and other tips on how to fraud alerts and security freezes on credit reports or bureaus. I though this could be a scam, but the facts more or less check out (https://www.news.gatech.edu/2019/04/02/ ... ndividuals).

Still, I have never applied, much less gone to Georgia Tech. I have never set foot in the state, actually. And I really want to know (1) what information they have about me (the at least have my mailing address, since I got the letter) and (2) how they got this information (bought it somehow from another company?). Do I have any recourse? I wanted to email the name on the letter, but he's high on the foodchain and his info isn't available.

Does anyone:
(1) have experience with this specific Georgia Tech situation?
(2) have suggestions about what I can do next?
(3) know if me doing anything is futile, because the school won't bother to respond to me, Jane Q. Citizen

cheers!
jwf
If you aren't familiar with Mr. Bogle and his investment philosophy, then you don't know Jack!

livesoft
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Re: security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

Post by livesoft » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:10 pm

I don't have experience with this, but I would ignore it in any case.

If I was a scammer, I would look for news articles like this and pitch a scam based on the article. But if you wanted to contact Georgia Tech directly, then I would contact their Public Affairs or Media Relations office and get them to send you to their cybersecurity folks. I think mostly folks are universities want to help the general public, so if you don't mind being friendly on the phone, then I think you will be successful talking to someone.
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prudent
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Re: security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

Post by prudent » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:14 pm

GT had a data breach, could have leaked info on many years' worth of student data. They probably hired someone to try to contact former students. They probably don't have current addresses for the overwhelming majority of former students. Your name probably matched against the name of a former student, and they thought you were the former student. You know it's not you, so you can ignore it.

Topic Author
juliewongferra
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Re: security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

Post by juliewongferra » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:30 am

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:10 pm
I don't have experience with this, but I would ignore it in any case.

If I was a scammer, I would look for news articles like this and pitch a scam based on the article. But if you wanted to contact Georgia Tech directly, then I would contact their Public Affairs or Media Relations office and get them to send you to their cybersecurity folks. I think mostly folks are universities want to help the general public, so if you don't mind being friendly on the phone, then I think you will be successful talking to someone.
Dear livesoft,

Thanks for your response. It's a fantastic idea to try the Public Affairs or Media Relations office! I was narrow mindedly thinking to reply to the person whose signature is stamped on the letter (or whichever department keeps this data, which I could't even begin to guess), but I like your idea. I may just get a boilerplate response from PR, but at least I will have tried. THANK YOU!

cheers!
jwf
If you aren't familiar with Mr. Bogle and his investment philosophy, then you don't know Jack!

Topic Author
juliewongferra
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:53 am

Re: security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

Post by juliewongferra » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:35 am

prudent wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:14 pm
GT had a data breach, could have leaked info on many years' worth of student data. They probably hired someone to try to contact former students. They probably don't have current addresses for the overwhelming majority of former students. Your name probably matched against the name of a former student, and they thought you were the former student. You know it's not you, so you can ignore it.
Dear prudent,

Thanks for the reassurance. I was under the impression that somehow I got on a mailing list and that list was shared with GT, so I wanted to know what they know about me. But I did not think of this alternate scenario, that my name matches a former student and they just used it. (Though I still am piqued that they did not consider the worry that they could cause with a false positive.) I'm probably going to make one last try at contacting GT to see if they can help out, otherwise, I will try to rest easy and ignore it.

cheers!
jwf
If you aren't familiar with Mr. Bogle and his investment philosophy, then you don't know Jack!

David S
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Location: Atlanta

Re: security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

Post by David S » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:01 pm

My son received the same letter that you did, and we were scratching our heads trying to figure out why. As a high school junior he had requested information from them, but never actually applied to attend. This would have been back in 2001.
On the other hand, I’m a Tech graduate and years ago actually did some part-time teaching there, and I didn’t receive the letter he did. Nor did any of the Tech alums that I know, including several family members.
I advised my son to take advantage of the identity protection from ID Experts that was offered. They’re a reputable firm. Several years ago the State of Georgia had a data breach that I was affected by and the state offered the same deal. Interesting enough, I still get a quarterly report from ID Experts, and have had no issues.

CppCoder
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Re: security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

Post by CppCoder » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:12 pm

prudent wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:14 pm
GT had a data breach, could have leaked info on many years' worth of student data. They probably hired someone to try to contact former students. They probably don't have current addresses for the overwhelming majority of former students. Your name probably matched against the name of a former student, and they thought you were the former student. You know it's not you, so you can ignore it.
If they don't have a student's address, they can just ask their alumni office. I've had six addresses since graduating, never once updated my address with them, and the alumni office has found me every single time :shock:.

livesoft
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Re: security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:22 pm

My college student had a job at the uni creeping alumni on the internet and updating the uni's records. :)
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Learning2Bogle
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Re: security info breach @ Georgia Tech...but I have no relationship w/GT

Post by Learning2Bogle » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:26 pm

My son received same letter. He applied to GATECH this past year so we believed it was a legitimate notification. A good friend of mine - her daughter received notification as well. She applied to GATECH the year before. We froze my son's credit history (although he is currently a minor) and that was a lot of work. I read somewhere that the breach affected GATECH students and faculty ...

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