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Rutgers responds to Proctortrack security breach

Verificient Technologies, Inc., Proctortrack's parent company, is currently investigating what types of data were exposed during the breach, including videos or images of students.  – Photo by Pikrepo

Proctortrack, the software used by Rutgers for remote proctoring on Canvas and Sakai, was shut down last week after a security incident.

The security breach was detected on Oct. 13 at approximately 3:30 p.m., according to Proctortrack’s website. Verificient Technologies, Inc., Proctortrack’s parent company, suspended the software’s services on Oct. 14 at 6 p.m to perform a security review and external audit that could take a number of days to complete. 

Students at Rutgers Business School received an email from Senior Associate Dean Martin Markowitz on Friday evening alerting them that Proctortrack assessments would not proceed until it was safe to do so. 

“Verificient Technologies is investigating the incident in hopes that no (biometric) data, videos, images or any recorded data have been affected or exposed,” Markowitz said, according to the email. 

Officials will post the details regarding what types of data were compromised on their website and social media once their assessment of the security breach is complete, according to Proctortrack’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page regarding the incident. 

“Any incidents reported during the security review, will be immediately notified to the institutions and users,” according to the FAQ. 

Markowitz said Rutgers Business School students with exams scheduled through Proctortrack will be notified by their instructors about how these assessments will proceed, according to the email.

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Michele Norin sent a University-wide email on Saturday to alert the rest of the Rutgers community about the security breach. She said Rutgers and other universities received little notice about Proctortrack shutting down, which caused some professors to cancel exams at the last minute. 

“The situation with Proctortrack is untenable, and Rutgers is now working diligently to find alternative options for remote proctoring,” Norin said, according to the email. “As we do so, we are implementing a vetting process that is speedy, thorough and attentive to the issues raised by the use of Proctortrack.”

Norin said the University is aware of the privacy concerns students have in regard to remote proctoring and that faculty are also looking for reliable methods for remote exams. 

“With this in mind, we are working with academic leadership at the university to review guidelines and processes surrounding the use of remote proctoring,” Norin said, according to the email. 

Additional information about potential alternatives to Proctortrack will be available in the coming week through learning management systems such as Canvas and Sakai, she said, according to the email. 

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