Computer Crime Research Center


Hacker gets access to personal data

Date: May 27, 2007

The names and Social Security numbers of thousands of students at the University of Colorado Boulder have been exposed by a computer hacker, the university announced Tuesday.

A school official in Boulder say a computer worm attacked a computer server used by the College of Arts and Sciences. The hacker was then able to have access to the vital information for 45,000 students who were enrolled at CU Boulder from 2002 to the present.

IT security investigators said they do not believe the hacker who launched the worm was looking for personal data, but rather was attempting to take control of the machine to allow it to infiltrate other computers both on and off campus.

CU said a series of human and technical problems led to the security breach. All students whose information was exposed are being notified by letters sent to their homes.

The hack was discovered May 12. IT security investigators said that the worm entered the server through a vulnerability in its Symantec anti-virus software, which had not been properly patched by the IT staff at the Arts and Sciences Advising Center.
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