Feeds

Student owns up to Texas Uni cyber-heist

Lone cracker theory

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A University of Texas student has been charged with hacking offences following a computer break-in at the university earlier this month that lead to the disclosure of 55,200 past and present University of Texas faculty members and students.

Christopher Andrew Phillips, 20, who was charged last week with "unauthorised access to a protected computer and using the Social Security number of another person to commit a federal offence", turned himself over to the authorities (the US Secret Service) last Friday, University newspaper The Daily Texan reports.

The paper reports that Phillips, a student of natural sciences at the university, told investigators that he acted alone and without intent to pass sensitive social security on to third parties. This admission is likely to subdue, though not entirely dissipate, fears that the stolen social security might be used in identity theft.

Investigators believe Phillips wrote a program to access a database, called TXClass, used to track employee training. With access to this database, Phillips was then able to fetch data off a more sensitive database containing social security numbers, it is claimed.

Phillips has been released on bail with restrictions limiting his access to computers. Charges against Phillips follow a March 5 Secret Service raid on his Austin residence where a computer containing a list of purloined social security numbers was recovered.

Johnny Sutton, US attorney for western Texas, told a news conference yesterday: "The main message today is that these cases will be taken seriously, these cases will be prosecuted, and this case will be prosecuted vigorously."

The Washington Post quotes Sutton as saying Phillips faces a maximum five years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 fine if convicted. ®

External Links

Data Theft Incident Response (University of Texas support site)

Related Stories

Police raids following Texas University ID cyber-heist
Student charged with massive ID fraud (Boston College case)
Police recover disk at centre of ID theft flap
Feds break massive identity fraud
Trainee dishwasher pleads guilty to $80m identity fraud
Identity Thefts from the Rich and Famous
Stomp the identity thieves

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?