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Posted on: October 12, 2017

Library Patron Record Data Breach

Library patron record data breach

October 12, 2017

On Friday, September 15, Indianhead Federated Library System learned that data from MORE-member libraries’ patron records had been obtained by an unauthorized party. While we currently only have evidence that a small number of patron barcodes and telephone numbers were obtained, the breach may have also exposed names, addresses, email addresses, birth dates, and identification record numbers such as driver’s license numbers. Those whose patron barcode and telephone number are known to have been obtained have been notified by mail.

While the extent and nature of the breach is not currently known, we do know that no credit card, bank, or other financial information could have been exposed, including that of patrons using the library’s online payment system. Additionally, no Social Security numbers could have been exposed, as that data is not collected by MORE-member libraries. While it's possible the exposed data could have included a coded list of items checked out to patrons at the time of the data exposure, it's highly unlikely an unauthorized party would connect patron identities with specific titles.

Library system staff have disabled the most-likely channel for this breach, are overseeing investigations into the breach and associated software vulnerability, and have submitted an Internet Crime Complaint with the FBI. The system and its member libraries take confidentiality of patron record data very seriously.

MORE-member library cardholders are encouraged to watch for and report any suspicious activity associated with their library account, and may wish to review or modify their library accounts by visiting their local library. Find updates posted here as they become available.

For more information about this topic, please contact John Thompson at 715-839-5082 x116 or email thompson@ifls.lib.wi.us.

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