More than 100 UCF students say credit, debit cards hacked

More than 100 University of Central Florida students said their debit and credit cards have been hacked.

This latest data breach comes just months after tens of thousands of students’ Social Security numbers were stolen.

WESH 2’s Matt Grant has the latest from the university, and what this means for students.

UCF student Christine Bealey just wanted a soda.

All thieves wanted was her money.

“I used my debit card for a soda machine, which I usually never do. But it wouldn’t take my money, and that’s the only time I used my debit card here and it got hacked,” Bealey said.

Last week, Bealey’s bank told her thieves in Singapore were shopping, on her dime.

“I’ll never use my debit card here again,” Bealey said.

Bealey is one of more than 100 UCF students who have reported that their debit and credit cards have been hacked.

The university said the breach involves businesses and restaurants on campus, not university-controlled areas like financial aid and housing.

At the student center, where some of the breaches occurred, restaurants are now only taking cash.

“We heard about the breach. As soon as we found out, we shut down our credit card systems,” said Tony Aguad, the owner of Magoo’s, a restaurant in the student union.

Aguad said he shut down systems “to protect anybody else” from becoming a victim. He’s not sure how hackers got a hold of his customers’ debit card numbers.

“UCF informed us of the issue,” he said, “and we tried to fix it.”

The university has ruled out the use of skimmers. Security experts said it’s likely there is a vulnerability with the Wi-Fi encryption connected to payment processing.

“The entire financial system for vendors is part of the investigation. That would include Wi-Fi. To be clear, vendors are responsible for their systems,” UCF said in a statement.

“If this happens here, it can happen anywhere on campus,” said UCF student Cristian Nacera.

Earlier this year, hackers stole Nacera’s Social Security number, along with those of 63,000 other current and former UCF students and faculty.

Officials do not believe the two incidents are connected, but Nacera said not enough places on campus are using the more secure chip reader, designed to prevent data breaches.

Campus officials said they’ve instructed store owners to review their financial systems.

UCF police and the Secret Service are investigating.

“I promise you we’re going to do the best job we can to protect your assets,” said UCF Police Chief Richard Beary, “and make sure somebody is held accountable for these breaches.”

Those who feel like they have been affected are urged to contact their credit card company.


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