As if applying to college wasn’t nerve-wracking enough: Last week hackers broke into a system that houses prospective students’ application data, then promised students access to their files — for the price of a single Bitcoin.
More than 900 colleges and universities use Slate, owned by Technolutions, to collect and manage information on applicants. Three colleges were affected by the breach: Oberlin College in Ohio, Grinnell College in Iowa, and Hamilton College in New York. Prospective students were sent emails promising access to confidential information, including comments from admissions officers and tentative acceptance decisions, upon payment of a Bitcoin. Later emails offered limited subsets of student files for $60.
No other universities were affected by the breach, Technolutions said. Oberlin, Grinnell, and Hamilton advised prospective students not to pay the attackers and said they are working with law enforcement on the case.
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