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Johns Hopkins data spilled in 'extortion' attempt

Friday - 3/7/2014, 11:50am  ET

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Johns Hopkins University says names and contact information for up to 1,200 current and former students were posted online after a hacker's failed extortion attempt aimed at gaining deeper access to the university's computer network.

Spokesman Dennis O'Shea said Friday that the threat came Wednesday from someone claiming affiliation with the hacker group Anonymous.

He says the extortionist threatened to post information stolen from a biomedical engineering department web server unless the university provided access to the school's network. O'Shea says the Baltimore university contacted the FBI instead, and the data was posted Thursday.

O'Shea says there's no evidence the compromised data contained Social Security numbers, birth dates or financial information. He says the most sensitive information was comments students made evaluating fellow students in a particular course.

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