Texan Uni is latest to have electronic records stolen

Texan Uni is latest to have electronic records stolen

The spate of personal data thefts continues in the United States; 55,000 records have been stolen from the databases of the University of Texas.

Students and teachers at the University of Texas in Austin have had records stolen from the databases of the university. Staff at the university discovered the crime last week. The hackers used randomly generated Social Security numbers to make requests to the database for records. They were able to access 55,200 records, which included the names, addresses and email addresses. A statement from the university said that past and present students, staff and job applicants could have had their records compromised.

The hackers used three number ranges of Social Security numbers to attack the University of Texas database. A total of 2,670,797 numbers fall into this range, the university said. As yet there have been no recorded cases of the records being used for criminal means.

"It does not appear at this time that the information that was obtained from the University database has been disseminated, nor has it been used to the detriment of the persons to whom it rightfully belongs," said US Attorney Johnny Sutton in a statement.

This raid follows recent identity theft cases across the US, including the theft of 500,000 military records in January(Read story).

The University of Texas has said in a statement that it is "devoting all available resources" to finding the attacker and to retrieve the data. Helping the university with the case is the Travis County District Attorney's Office, the US Department of Justice and the US Secret Service.

"To date there is no evidence that the stolen data have [sic] been distributed beyond the computer of the perpetrator," the university said.

Students and workers worried that their details have been stolen from the university database via the Internet can visit the university Web page and complete an online form.

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