Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

USC: Applicants' Files May Have Been Read

Filed under
Security

Officials of the University of Southern California said they will contact everyone who used the school's online application system in the past eight years to warn them that a hacker may have been able to read their files.

School security officials said they plan to contact about 270,000 people although they believe the hacker looked at only about 10 files.

"Although we believe that the scope of this is pretty small, we're taking it very seriously and we are taking great care to notify every single person where there is even the potential that their records might have been viewed," said L. Katharine Harrington, USC's dean of admission and financial aid.

The hacker took advantage of a security flaw he discovered while trying to use the USC Web site on June 20, said Robert M. Wood, USC's information security officer.

However, the hacker then reported the flaw to an online security magazine, SecurityFocus, and the publication informed USC.

Wood said the FBI was notified but he doubted that any criminal case will be pursued because there didn't appear to have been any malicious attempt to obtain private information.
FBI officials would not comment.

Since the middle of last year, computer security lapses have been reported at several other schools.

Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University all rejected dozens of business school applicants who tried to access admissions Web sites earlier this year in hopes of learning their fate ahead of schedule.

A former University of Texas student was indicted last fall on charges he hacked into the school's computer system and stole Social Security numbers and other personal information from more than 37,000 students and employees. California State University, Chico, had a similar incident in March.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

Linux 4.8.14

Turns out I'm going to be on a very long flight early tomorrow morning, so I figured it would be good to get this kernel out now, instead of delaying it by an extra day. So, I'm announcing the release of the 4.8.14 kernel. All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.8.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... Read more Also: Linux 4.4.38 Linux Kernel 4.8.14 Hits the Streets with Numerous Networking Improvements, More

An Everyday Linux User Review Of Zorin 12

This version of Zorin is a great step forward. It has a renewed sense of purpose and stands out in its own right as a decent Linux distribution. I think Zorin should follow Mint's lead and stick with aligning itself to the Ubuntu LTS release. This gives the developers more time to push it along at their own pace. All in all a decent alternative to Linux Mint and Ubuntu. Read more