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Yale is threatening to sue Princeton after officials at the rival Ivy League college allegedly hacked into Yale's Web site to gain unauthorised access to its admission decisions.

According to Yale Daily News, Princeton staff gained unauthorised access to decisions on at least 11 prospective Yale undergraduates in early April through its deeply insecure online admission notification system.

Using birth dates and social security numbers obtained from Princeton applications, officials were able to find out whether applicants had been successful in gained access to Yale, its alleged. In some case Princeton allegedly found out whether applicants were successful before they received official notification themselves. Yale has pledged to inform affected applicants of the breach.

Yale Daily News reports that Stephen LeMenager, a dean of admissions at Princeton, explained its actions by saying it was only "innocently" checking if Yale's site was secure.

Yale learned of the security breach in June after Princeton officials mentioned how easy it was to see their rival's administrations records at Ivy League deans' conference.

Yale then carried out a security audit which traced back access to admission data to four PCs in Princeton's admissions office. Following the security breach, it is considering introducing PIN numbers to make the site more secure.

Princeton could have parts of its funding withheld for breaching student confidentiality under provisions within the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act. It may also face criminal charges.

Yale is consulting law enforcement officials. ®

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