Computer hackers broke into a Florida college’s computer system and stole the confidential information of nearly 300,000 students statewide and the school’s president, officials said Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. The problem that at first involved just employees at Northwest Florida State College now is much larger than suspected. The Department of Education said hackers stole 200,000 records including names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, ethnicity and gender for any student statewide who was eligible for Florida’s popular Bright Futures scholarships for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.

“We speculate this was a professional, coordinated attack by one or more hackers,” said college President Ty Handy in a memo that went out to employees on Monday. Handy said the hackers did not get all the information from one file, but instead were able to piece together enough data to steal identities of at least 50 employees including his own…

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eCampus News staff and wire reports


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