NYU students' information placed on Net

Jan. 10, 2004 at 1:52 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Some 1,800 New York University students have been notified by the New York City school that their Social Security numbers were posted on the Internet.

"We regret the concern that this may cause our students and former students who were on the list, and we apologize to them," John Beckman, an NYU spokesman, told the New York Times.

University officials said the information -- names, Social Security numbers and in some cases telephone numbers -- were published on NYU's Web site on a list of students interested in intramural sports, the Times reported Saturday.

Brian Ristuccia, a computer technician in Massachusetts, said he notified the university of the snafu in December anonymously because "it is very common for an organization faced with a security problem to blame the person that discovers the problem."

Ristuccia added he copied the information "so that it would be difficult for NYU to claim that the information never existed."

The university denied being notified and questioned why Ristuccia posted the information on his Web site, the Times said.

Beckman said the university was considering using a different student identification system than Social Security numbers.

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