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University of Texas student charged in hacking of school's computer system

Authorities filed federal charges Friday against a 20-year-old student accused of hacking into a University of Texas computer system and stealing Social Security numbers and other personal information from more than 55,000 students, faculty and staff members. Christopher Andrew Phillips, a computer science major at the Austin campus, was charged with unlawful access to a protected computer and unlawful use of a means of identification. He turned himself in to federal officials Friday morning, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Devlin. Phillips told officials he had no intention of using the information to harm anyone, according to the complaint filed by a Secret Service agent who searched Phillips’ residences in Houston and Austin. Phillips said he wrote and executed a computer program designed to access a university Web site, Texclass, that tracks employees that attend training classes, according to the complaint. By gaining access to Texclass, he was able to access a broader range of information, including names and Social Security numbers from a University database. Full Story

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