Swinburne sorry over personal data breach

Swinburne University says the breach is linked to a registration web page that's no longer active.
Swinburne University says the breach is linked to a registration web page that's no longer active.

A Melbourne university has been forced to apologise after thousands of its staff and students had their personal details inadvertently shared online in a data breach.

Swinburne University on Friday revealed 5200 staff, 100 students and 200 others from outside the institution had their personal information made available on internet forums.

It was alerted to the breach last month, with published details including first and last names, email addresses and even contact phone numbers.

The data breach is linked to a historical event registration web page, with the information provided from 2013 to 2014.

In an email to staff on Friday, Swinburne University's chief information officer Sean Elwick said the page was no longer accessible from the internet.

"We have also commenced an audit of all similar pages on our website," he wrote in the email obtained by AAP.

The university is contacting those affected to offer them support, and has reported the breach to state and federal IT and education authorities.

"While some impacted staff and students no longer work or study at Swinburne, we will be making every effort to ensure these individuals are aware of the data breach," Mr Elwick said.

"We are also contacting external stakeholders who have been impacted.

"We sincerely apologise for any concern and inconvenience this has caused. We are committed to rectifying the matter and implementing systems and processes to help mitigate the risk of this happening in the future."

Australian Associated Press