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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 14:37

Hackers breach admissions files at three private colleges

Applicants to three private colleges this week discovered just how steep the price of admission can run.

Hackers breached the system that stores applicant information for Oberlin College in Ohio, Grinnell College in Iowa and Hamilton College in New York and emailed applicants, offering them the chance to buy and view their admissions file. For a fee, the sender promised access to confidential information in the applicant’s file, including comments from admissions officers and a tentative decision. The emails demanded thousands of dollars in ransom from prospective students for personal information the hackers claimed to have stolen.

All three schools use Slate, a popular software system, to manage applicants’ information. Slate is used by more than 900 colleges and universities worldwide. The company is not aware of other affected colleges, said Alexander Clark, chief executive of Technolutions, Slate’s parent company. Officials from the affected schools declined to comment on the scope of the data breach.