Hacker breaks into research study data

Hacker breaks into research study data
Hacker breaks into research study data 

By Eric Ferreri
Sept. 25, 2009

CHAPEL HILL - A hacker has infiltrated a computer server housing the 
personal data of 236,000 women enrolled in a UNC Chapel Hill research 
study. Among the information exposed: the Social Security numbers of 
163,000 participants.

The data is part of the Carolina Mammography Registry, a 14-year-old 
project that compiles and analyzes mammography data submitted by 
radiologists across North Carolina.

Though the intrusion was detected in late July, computer forensics 
experts say it might have happened two years ago, said Matthew Mauro, 
chairman of the UNC Department of Radiology.

UNC officials and a private computer forensic expert have spent two 
months investigating, but they still don't know who did the hacking, 
where the attack originated, or even whether data was downloaded.

"There's no direct evidence that any information has been removed," 
Mauro said. "But we can't say for sure."


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