Local universities take precautions after UMD cyberattack

(WJLA) - After a tense week on campus, University of Maryland junior Nancy Coronado expected to find out whether her personal information had been hacked in the recent security breach.

But she had trouble getting through to someone who could help her:

"I don't know if it's me or it just said call ended..."

On the other end of the line was a recording saying: We are sorry are circuits are busy, please try your call later.

The University set up free accounts with credit monitoring firm Experian so that students and staff could find out if they were among the 300,000 with stolen data. Instead, the tied-up lines just added to the frustration.

“They're doing this for us to check and that doesn't even work," said Nancy.

The massive security breach has not only rattled the Maryland campus, but sent shock waves throughout other local academic institutions. Georgetown University has now implemented a mandatory bi-annual password change policy.

"I have a hard time remembering my passwords to begin with, so I think it's sort of a hassle," said sophomore Lindsay Agresti.

The school says it gets nearly 2.5 million attempted intrusions daily into its network.

Scammers send emails pretending to be Georgetown IT experts," explained Georgetown senior Will Miller.

Cyber experts say universities are one-stop shopping for hackers with a treasure trove of personal and research information – a lesson many at UMD are learning.

"I'm a senior so I'm getting out of here soon, and you don't want to start off your credit history on a bad note with your social security taken," said Stephen Aramburam.