Penn Among Universities Worldwide Targeted By Hackers

By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Officials at the University of Pennsylvania had to deal with an incident of computer hacking that affected some 1,500 students — but the problem has been fixed.

A group calling itself Team GhostShell claimed responsibility online for accessing student files from several schools across the country, supposedly to highlight problems like escalating student debt. Penn was the only school hit in the Philadelphia area.

Spokesman Stephen MacCarthy says the most sensitive information obtained were student ID numbers.

“Fortunately those files didn’t contain any information that could lead to identity theft,” says MacCarthy. “There were no social security numbers, no passwords, no credit card numbers or anything of that sort.”

The hacked program was quickly repaired.

MacCarthy says any major university is vulnerable to hacking, given the open nature under which they operate day to day. As a result, computer security is a high priority. But application problems like this will surface on occasion.

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