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Archive for Thursday, January 15, 2004

FBI still investigating KU security breach

January 15, 2004

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It's been nearly a year since someone hacked into a Kansas University computer system, and the FBI still hasn't identified the perpetrator.

FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza said Wednesday that agents still were working on the case.

Lanza said some computer crimes could take months to investigate because hackers often use other computers as platforms from which they launch their attacks.

Lanza said he couldn't say how high a priority the KU case was at the FBI.

The security breach was identified Jan. 22, 2003. Someone downloaded personal information -- including passport numbers, Social Security numbers and addresses -- from 1,450 international students at KU.

The information had been collected as part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, a database mandated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The hacker illegally used a KU computer five times between Jan. 6 and Jan. 17, 2003, when the SEVIS file was downloaded. In the previous incidents, the hacker used the computer to distribute copyrighted movies and pornography, KU officials said.

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