Computer Crime Research Center


Fraudsters steal money from bank accounts

Date: April 27, 2006
By: Melissa McGuire

A Central Texas businessman says someone stole $15,000 from his bank account and a University of Texas hacker may be to blame.

Personal information from about 200,000 people associated with UT's McCombs School of Business was accessed illegally this month. UT officials said the breach begain as early as April 11.

One local homebuilder says five days after that, his account was maxed-out for four days straight.

When news spread this week of a security breach into UT's business school database, the school urged students, faculty, staff, alumni and corporate recruiters to flag their credit files with fraud alerts.

Michael Demarco says, for him and his business, Laurel Haven Homes, the alert came too late.

"I think it's odd that five days after this breach, I've got money coming out of my account," he said.

Demarco said there are two ways his information could have been stolen. He is a UT business school alumnus. His personal information, including his social security number, was on the school's database. He also had his business registered on the McCombs business school Web site as a corporate recruiter.

"It might not have been about individuals. It might've been about the businesses," he said.
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