Not Admitted to Law School? Hackers Found a Way

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 12, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If you couldn't get into the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, you may wince knowing that cyber-hackers managed to do it.

The law school has notified 1,213 applicants from 2005-2006 that hackers got into the school's computer system. The school said the attack "exposed records containing your name and Social Security Number."

Taking measures in response to the hack, the school told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that they have implemented additional vulnerability identification programs and are "evaluating current computer applications and decommissioning those no longer needed, tightening credentials for access to databases, and deploying additional network intrusion detection."

The school also posted the notice on its website for other media.

Twitter Story Follows the Hack

In the legal community, the Wisconsin-Madison Law School was most famously known as one of two law schools in the nation that qualifies its graduates for admission to the state bar based upon their diplomas. Now the community is tweeting all about the cyberattack.

Mike Wagner, Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison, retweeted the report to his 2,500 followers. Countless others, including students, lawyers and government agencies, spread the message, too.

"They didn't even let me in to the school, but I guess the hackers had no effing problem," one tipster said on Above the Law.

Been There, Hacked That

It's not the first time the university computer system has been attacked. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, hackers got access to names and Social Security numbers of 2,920 people on campus in 2009. Information -- including photo identification -- of another 60,000 former students, faculty and staff, was compromised in 2010.

The university learned about the latest cyber attack on November 3 and began an investigation. The law school sent notices to those affected on December 6, apologizing for the security breach and referring the former applicants to a free credit monitoring service to help protect them against identity theft.

Police spokesman Marc Lovicott said investigators have identified a potential hacker, who lives out of state. No arrests have been made yet.

In the meantime, there are still better ways to prepare for getting into law school than learning how to hack. Winter break is a great time to work on that law school application.

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