By Kirsten Glavin
Three thousand email accounts and passwords were stolen from a database at the University of Rhode Island on Thursday. The University Police department is now launching an investigation. Current and former students were warned of the inappropriate collection of emails and passwords via email as well as a written letter.
"We were notified in the first email that we would get another email that would let us know if we were affected. And I was one of those people,” said one student.
Of the three thousand students whose emails had been compromised, more than 1,100 are currently enrolled at the University this fall.
"I'm a little nervous only because we pay a lot of money and I thought that they would have better security. But they did let us know that from what they've gathered, the hackers didn't get social security or our credit card information. So that was a little bit helpful,” added the student.
According to the University, the list of students is almost entirely comprised of females, admitted between the fall of 2006 and fall of 2014. It does not include new students or new transfers.
Linda Acciardo, the Director of Marketing and Communications at the University said people are taking the warning seriously. As of Friday morning, about 500 students and faculty had changed their passwords as a precaution.
In a press release, the University stated that based on information collected early in the investigation, it appears that the person responsible is not a student, or faculty member at the university.
SecurityRI.com, a security firm in North Providence, says this issue is not uncommon anymore, and students should be checking accounts immediately.
"Priority number one for them would be to change their email password, and immediately go through their emails and make sure that nothing happened, nothing was sent out, they have all of their emails, nothing was deleted,” said Karl Sellsted, a Sr. Technology Support consultant.