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University Of Maryland Now Offering 5 Years Of Credit Monitoring After Security Breach

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Christie Ileto 370 x 278 Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She...
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — Growing panic for thousands of current and past University of Maryland students and staff. Their Social Security numbers were hacked in a security breach. A hotline for victims is being flooded with calls.

Christie Ileto explains how the university is taking new steps to help those at risk.

Maryland student Joshua Deese thought he’d learn Tuesday if he was one of the 300,000 people whose personal information–including Social Security numbers–may have been hacked on campus.

“I kept getting busy tones,” he said.

The hotline set up for the campus to call was overwhelmed. Few got through. This, after announcing last week a cybersecurity breach at the school and that information dating back to 1998 could be at risk.

In an online message, the university’s president reassured the campus they’re fighting this cyber attack.

“I am immediately launching…a comprehensive top-to-bottom examination of all computing and information systems,” the message read.

Tuesday was the first day that students, faculty and alumni could call a hotline to determine if their personal information was, in fact, breached, but by Tuesday evening that number was still busy.

“They’re doing this for us to check and it doesn’t even work,” said one.

“It’s scary. It’s a really scary thing to know a hacker could easily get my information and my identity could be stolen,” another said.

The school has set up free accounts to monitor credit information and extended protection from one year to five.

“If you have someone’s Social Security number and birth date, five years later they could still hack our bank account and take all the money they wanted,” said student Stephen Kane.

The cyber attack remains under investigation.

If you have additional questions about the breach, call 301-405-4440.

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