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UW says 40 computers hacked (1:29 p.m. 10/27/09)

Madison (AP) — University of Wisconsin-Madison officials say 40 computers have been hacked, possibly exposing personal information of nearly 3,000 people.

UW-Madison authorities sent a letter Oct. 12 to faculty, staff and students affected, apologizing and promising new security tools.

The computers were used as part of an underground network distributing music, movies, television shows and commercial software.

According to a letter attributed to Department of Chemistry Chairman Robert Hamers and Chief Information Officer Ronald Kraemer, there was no evidence the hackers were aware of names and social security numbers.

University officials learned Aug. 31 of the breach. It happened mostly over the past 18 months, but the earliest incident happened in December 2001.

According to the letter, identities of those who obtained unauthorized access remain unknown.

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