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Texas A&M Grad Indicted for Hacking into University’s Computer

Hacking seems to becoming attractive for students who are donning the hackers' cap to make profit. An ex-student of Texas A&M University was charged with hacking the university's computer and stealing ID's of present and past students, causing losses amounting to over $5,000 to the university.

As per reports, Texas A&M University's current alumna, Luis Castillo, was accused of lawbreaking and irreparable harm to a secure computer in end August 2007.

Besides five years imprisonment, he has been penalized $250,000 for illicitly hacking around 88,000 login ID's of present and past pupils, professors and employees.

According to Federal attorneys, the computer science graduate Castillo hacked into the university computer in December 2006, resulting in losses amounting to over $5,000. The university had to employ additional employees to contain the damage.

Towards the end of February 2007, Texas A&M functionaries alerted pupils, faculty and employees regarding exposure of their passwords and instructed them to alter their Internet ID's within seven days or be shut out of the system.

Internet IDs are the only means of entry to majority of the services provided by the A&M University, declared Pierce Cantrell, the University's Vice-President and associate provost for IT, in the September 6, 2007 edition of eagle.com.

Professors, can check gradebooks, e-mails and different course-management systems through the NetID's. NetID's also allow pupils to check their e-mails, fiscal services, enrollment and other activities.

The unlawfully extracted data had not been misused, Cantrell told.

Changing [the NetID's which gives access to gradebooks] without delay is the main aim, and University has devices to detect any alterations in grades, he added. In case of any discrepancy, the University would immediately be able to spot its origin.

The Corpus Christi campus of Texas A&M was again violated in June 2007, when a holidaying professor informed the loss of a flash drive carrying the confidential data of almost 8,000 pupils registered in his 2006 classes.

Last year [2006], the university had alerted 6,000 present and past pupils regarding a possible exposure of their confidential data by a hacker who had hacked into the secure computer in September 2005.

Related article: Texan Spam Mailer Gets Shut Out

» SPAMfighter News - 9/19/2007

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