55,000 names and SSNs stolen at UT Austin

United Press International: Hackers strike at University of Texas:
“Authorities Thursday sought computer hackers who stole the names and Social Security numbers of 59,000 current and former students, faculty and staff last week at the University of Texas at Austin.

UT Austin: Data Theft and Identity Protection:
“The malfunction was assessed to be the result of a deliberate attack from the Internet. Subsequent analysis revealed that a security weakness in an administrative data reporting system was exploited by writing a program to input millions of Social Security numbers. Those SSNs that matched selected individuals in a UT database were captured, together with e-mail address, title, department name, department address, department phone number, and names/dates of employee training programs attended. It is important to note that no student grade or academic records, or personal health or insurance information was disclosed.

Computer logs indicate the information was obtained by computers in Austin and Houston over a five-day period that began last Wednesday, according to UT officials. They don’t know yet if the identification information was used for any illegal purposes… Approximately 55,200 individuals had some of the above data exposed. This group includes current and former students, current and former faculty and staff, and job applicants.”

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