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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A data breach at the University of Alaska has impacted dozens of current and former employees and students, officials said.

A university statement said security officials first started looking into the breach when problems arose with password-protected accounts, KTVA-TV reported Thursday.

The university said the accounts of 50 people were impacted.

“The hackers had access to personal information through social media and other sources, which allowed them to answer security questions in the UA self-service password reset tool,” the university said. “Since these users had chosen to not provide any custom security questions, the hackers were able to use the tool to change passwords.”

The university system’s Office of Information Technology is investigating the breach.

One fraudulent income tax return has already been reported to investigators, leading them to suspect employees’ W-2 tax form information had been targeted.

The password system has been fixed to prevent a similar breach in the future.

“Those who were affected will be offered reimbursement insurance coverage in the event their data is fraudulently used and they suffer a loss,” the university said. “The university is working directly with affected employees to offer any assistance should they need it.”


Information from: KTVA-TV,