Former Student Sues Kansas’ Wichita State University over Data Breach

May 27, 2020

A former student at Wichita State University in Kansas has filed a federal lawsuit against the school over a December data breach that exposed the personal information of thousands of current and former students.

Michael Bahnmaier, of Wichita, filed the lawsuit seeking class-action status and an unspecified amount in damages, the Wichita Eagle reported. The lawsuit accuses WSU of negligence and of waiting too long to alert those whose personal information may have been stolen.

University officials have said hackers targeted a historical database for three days starting Dec. 3. Stored on the server were the names, email addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers of students — some dating back 20 years. But school officials did not inform those whose information may have been stolen until March 6.

“WSU sat on the information for four months, and it had no explanation for why it was keeping unsecured data on a server for 20 or more years,” said Bahnmaier’s attorney, Bill Federman of Oklahoma City. “Forget about the gold standard of security. This isn’t even the bronze.”

The university said in a statement that there’s no indication that the stolen personal information has been misused.

“We do not believe the lawsuit has merit,” the university’s statement said.

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