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Hacker Admits to Crime On Columbia Homepage

Columbia’s homepage hacker has been caught. The investigation of the two defacements that occurred in February, in which visitors to Columbia’s homepage were presented with a cryptic message and then redirected to the pornographic web site www.cumsplatter.com, has been closed. “The perpetrator has admitted to the incident,” Walter Bourne, assistant director of Academic Information Systems, said via e-mail. Bourne would not say whether the perpetrator was a Columbia student or not. Soon after the incidents, Deputy Vice President of AcIS Vace Kundakci indicated that the hacker may have gained access to the Columbia server through the “privileged account” of an administrator in the Office of Public Affairs. Columbia’s homepage is maintained using a custom-designed program that records an electronic log each time the page is modified. Spectator obtained a copy of the log that was generated at 2:54 p.m. ET on February 16–when the homepage was first defaced–which indicates that the homepage updating program was invoked through the Cunix account of OPA Webmaster Jiangcheng Bao. Although Bourne would not confirm or deny whether it was indeed Bao’s account that was used, he did say that “the problem has been corrected and additional measures have been taken to increase security.” “The web site is now secure,” he said. Full Story

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