Cal Applicants Exposed by Hacker

Information from students applying for the University of California's journalism school compromised in online attack

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Aug 12, 2009  |  Updated 2:47 PM PDT
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Cal Applicants Exposed by Hacker

George Kelly

The journalism department at Cal is getting more computer-literate by the day, but the hack attack can't have put administrators in a good mood.

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Welcome to the news business, kids. Here's your first story: 493 applicants to Berkeley's well-regarded journalism department had their data perused by a hacker.

The school said that none of the information was corrupted or improperly used, but did send notifications out to those affected, regardless.

Among the private information were the student's social security numbers, one of the keys to identity theft prized by grifters.

The virtual break-in occurred in July, but school officials kept quiet during an investigation.

If anything, this latest incident shows that the school has gotten better at security if only the journalism school was compromised, and not nuclear secrets or weapons research.

Well, that, or this hacker decided to go after a much, much softer target. Though one that will probably be rather thoroughly reported.

Photo by George Kellyak.

Jackson West wonders if this will make applicants who are fans of Professor Michael Pollan even more technophobic.

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