Hackers Capture Info. From George Mason U.
Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2005 - 6:24 AM
By DENA POTTER
Associated Press Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Computer hackers captured the names, Social
Security numbers and other information of more than 30,000 students
and staff at George Mason University earlier this month, school
officials said Monday.
The university, which is in Fairfax, near Washington D.C., discovered
on Jan. 3 that intruders had hacked into a server containing the
protected information, school spokesman Daniel Walsch said. He said
the university notified all students and staff.
The school established an information hot line and turned the case
over to campus police, Walsch said.
"We don't know if this is an inside job or an outside job at this
point," he said.
Before the hacking, the university was in the process of replacing
students' Social Security numbers with other internal numbers to
protect against identity theft. That was in response to a law passed
last year requiring Social Security numbers to be removed from various
ID cards to deter identity theft.
Officials shut down part of the server after learning about the
hacking, and are reviewing other computer security measures, he said.
Last year, a security hole in an unsecured computer at the University
of California, Berkeley, allowed hackers to steal 1.4 million personal
records of the state's in-home care receivers. In 2003, the Georgia
Institute of Technology and the University of Texas at Austin had
protected information stolen by hackers.