Hackers broke into a database and stole the names, Social Security numbers and e-mail addresses of more than 55,000 students, former students and employees at the University of Texas at Austin, university officials said.
It wasn't immediately clear if the information was used to illegally obtain credit cards or withdraw money from bank accounts. School officials said they were notifying the people victimized.
The theft was discovered Sunday evening when employees found a computer malfunction, Dan Updegrove, the university's vice president for information technology, wrote on the university's Web site.
According to computer logs, the database was hacked by a computer in Austin several times beginning on February 26 and ending Sunday. Updegrove said the hackers used a program to query the database with 3 million potential Social Security numbers, resulting in about 55,200 successful matches.
He said the university was working with the U.S. attorney's office and secret service and other law enforcement agencies.
News source: CNN