[ISN] Hacker Hits California University Computer

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Oct 20 02:41:53 EDT 2004


Oct 19, 2004 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A computer hacker accessed names and Social
Security numbers of about 1.4 million Californians after breaking into
a University of California, Berkeley, computer system in perhaps the
worst attack of its kind ever suffered by the school, officials said
on Tuesday.

"The investigation is continuing but we have no idea if the (personal)  
information has been compromised," said Carlos Ramos, assistant
secretary at the California Health and Human Services Agency.

He said state agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were
investigating but the hacker had not been found.

The names accessed by the hacker were being used by a UC Berkeley
researcher who had collected data on elderly people and individuals
who provide in-home care to seniors to study the impact of wages on
in-home care, Ramos said.

The data, which included home addresses, telephone numbers and dates
of birth, was being used at the state's authorization but without the
consent of the individuals whose information was being used in the

Ramos said the state is authorized to share with researchers the
personal information of individuals who participate in state programs
administered by the state social services department.

George Strait, a university spokesman, confirmed the school's computer
system had been penetrated in what he believed was the most
significant hacking job the university had experienced.

The university detected its computer system had been broken into at
the end of August, but did not notify the state until Sept. 27 after
the school had done its own investigation with the FBI, Strait said.

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