AUSTIN (AP) — Hackers have stolen names, Social Security numbers and e-mail addresses of some 59,000 current and former students, faculty members and staff at The University of Texas at Austin, school officials said in published reports Thursday.
The theft was discovered Sunday evening when computer systems personnel discovered a computer malfunction, Dan Updegrove, the university's vice president for information technology, told the Austin American-Statesman and Houston Chronicle.
Hackers also got office addresses and office phone numbers for some current faculty and staff members, he said. No grade, health or benefit records were stolen, Updegrove said.
It was unclear if the information has already been used to illegally obtain credit cards or withdraw money from bank accounts, authorities said.
According to computer logs, the database was hacked by a computer in Austin on Feb. 26, Feb. 27 and Friday, and again by a computer in Houston on Saturday and Sunday.
Updegrove said the hackers used a computer program to query the UT database with three million potential Social Security numbers, resulting in about 59,000 successful matches. "It was just a brute force attack on the system," he said.