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Police raids following Texas University ID cyber-heist

55,200 swiped social security numbers prompt tough action

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Crackers are believed to have swiped the social security numbers of 55,200 past and present University of Texas faculty members and students, following a computer break-in last weekend.

The disclosure has prompted fears that the social security data might find it ways into the hands of ID thieves. Early indications are that the data has not, at least yet, been misused to obtain fraudulent loans and credit card accounts.

Student academic records, personal health or insurance information were not leaked through the attack, according to a statement by the University.

Nonetheless concerns have been expressed about why the University identified faculty members using sensitive social security data, and the apparent ease of the attack (the mechanism of which is explained here).

The University is to review its security policies, following the cyber-heist.

A support Web site has been set up, and the University is notifying students, job applicants, staff and retired employees whose social security numbers might have been compromised by the attack.

Meanwhile the unauthorised intrusion has been reported to Federal Authorities and local police in Austin, Texas.

Local paper, the Austin American-Statesman (which broke the story yesterday), reports "overnight raids in in Austin and Houston by law enforcement authorities, including the US Secret Service".

There's no reports of any arrests, just yet, and a criminal investigation of this serious security breach at The University of Texas is ongoing, with further police action and raids possible. ®

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