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Martin University 2022 data breach still impacting those needing transcripts

Martin University
Posted at 6:19 PM, Aug 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-07 12:10:26-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A data breach at Martin University that occurred over a year ago is still impacting dozens of students.

Martin University is a private college in Indianapolis that was founded in 1977.

A Martin University spokesperson says it hasn't been able to fulfill more than 70 transcripts since the data breach.

"I don't know what to do. I don't know where to turn. I don't know," Paula Wilburn said.

Wilburn needs her transcript, the official document from Martin University that provides a list of classes she took and grades she earned.

"I need a job and unfortunately, I have to have my transcripts. I don't have to have all my hours, but I need a copy of my transcripts. Martin can't provide that for me," Wilburn said.

Following the data breach in 2022, the university hired investigators that found personal information, including transcript details of some current, former and prospective students, may have been compromised.

Current or former students between 2017 and 2022 were given information on how to enroll in a complimentary identity protection service to secure their information, but Wilburn says she last attended in 2016 and was clueless until she recently called.

"I told [the university] 'I understand your position, but I need you to understand mine and how frustrating it is to know I have this student debt loan, my time, my effort making the Dean's list, all these things I accomplished and you're telling me it doesn't exist,'" Wilburn said.

Martin University claims it's had 675 transcript requests since the cyber breach. Of those, just over 70 were unable to be fulfiled.

For students with paper copies being stored by the university, it says, transcripts were re-created. Those who didn't have a paper copy but could verify their degree, an official letter of degree was given.

For students who did not earn a degree, like Wilburn, old registration forms are required to pull the transcripts.

"I probably have every book I purchased but I don't have any of the paperwork," Wilburn said.

Wilburn says it's not fair and is hoping for a solution soon.

"Even if I wanted to pick up and go back where I left off at, I don't have that option because it's not there. I really need my transcripts. I need Martin to be responsible," Wilburn said.

WRTV reached out to the university. They sent us the following statement:

Thanks for reaching out to us here at Martin University. According to a press release issued in May 2022, Martin was made aware of suspicious activity on January 3, 2022. Martin officials immediately hired security experts and a computer forensic investigator to analyze the system, ensure its safety, and determine whether the incident impacted anyone's personal information.

According to Dr. Sean Huddleston, president of Martin University, "We take the privacy and security of all individuals' personal information very seriously," said Huddleston, "When we became aware of suspicious activity on our computer network, we immediately took steps to investigate the activity and began a process to enhance the security of our system.

After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the incident may have impacted the personal information, including transcript details of some current, former, and prospective students. On May 26, 2022, notification letters were sent to the potentially affected individuals Martin had been able to identify. Current or former students of Martin or prospective students between January 2017 and January 2022 who were not notified about this incident were given contact information to enroll in a complimentary identity protection service order to secure their information.

Our records indicate that Martin University has received 675 transcript requests since the cyber incident. Of those requests, roughly 72 (10.7%) could not be fulfilled because of compromised data. Former students whose information was compromised after the incident were provided several options:
  1. For students for which we have physical files, we have re-created transcripts. 
  2. For those without physical files but who can verify their degree completion, we offer an official letter certifying the degree they earned. 
  3. If no degree was earned, but there are old registration forms: We offer an official letter affirming the classes a student registered for and the dates. NOTE: The later letter does not affirm grades received or that the student passed due to the fact that we do not have data to support grades for a fraction of those students.
Martin University