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Student charged after McMaster University’s admissions offer database hacked

The names of 25,000 students or prospective students have been accessed during a breach of McMaster University's computer database..
The names of 25,000 students or prospective students have been accessed during a breach of McMaster University's computer database.. McMaster University

An 18-year-old McMaster student has been charged in connection with an unauthorized breach of the university’s computer system.

Gord Arbeau, McMaster’s director of communications, says the names and addresses of approximately 25,000 students or prospective students were accessed.

Arbeau adds that the breach, which was detected about a week ago, involves a password-protected database that contains student admission offer letters.

All of those whose information was accessed are being notified.

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Arbeau stresses that the letters do not include any financial or health information and “no sensitive personal information was accessed or disclosed” as part of the incident.

The accused, an 18-year-old McMaster student from Thornhill, has been charged with unauthorized use of a computer.

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Arbeau says the “gap in programming that allowed that access to be granted has been closed and the problem has been fixed.”

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He notes that this type of occurence is “rare for McMaster”, adding that “the university takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard information.”