California University Computer System Hacked

Colleges and universities around the country will likely be guarding
their computer networks a little closer from now on, after several
institutions’ systems were hacked this month.

Officials at California State University, Chico, announced that that they
were the latest victims of hackers who had broke into a housing and food
service computer system that contained vital information about 59,000 current,
former and prospective students, as well as faculty and staff.

The school said most of the records belonged to students who had attended
classes within the past five years. Officials said they would notify those
affected by the breach. There is no indication that the hackers were
targeting confidential information, school officials said.

The vital information accessed included names, addresses and Social Security

In a statement on the school’s Web site, officials said the hackers
installed root kit software on the system for storing music, movie and game
files. They also attempted to break into other university computers, the
school said.

The university said it will no longer require students and employees to
provide Social Security numbers in its campus identification systems.

As previously reported by, a computer system that stored fundraising information of possibly up to 120,000 alumni of Boston College was hacked last week. The vital
also included names, addresses and Social Security numbers.

Jack Dunn, a Boston College spokesman, said the school alerted alumni to the
breach but was convinced no personal data was stolen. Dunn said the hacker
planted a program that could be used to launch attacks against other

And earlier this month Harvard University said a hacker gained access to
its admission systems and helped applicants log on to learn whether they had
gained admission before the results were released. The school said it would
deny admission to those applicants who hacked into the system.

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