Originally created 05/12/00

Maine Public Broadcasting member list hacked



LEWISTON, Maine -- A hacker broke into the computer file that holds the names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card numbers of Maine Public Broadcasting Corp.'s 21,000 members.

Station officials said they cannot yet tell if any of the information was downloaded or even looked at, and it is too early to determine if anything illegal has been done with the information.

"It's possible this hacker came in just to intrude, get out and brag about it," spokeswoman Rhonda Morin said.

The hacker would have needed sophisticated software to even read the data, she added. The breach occurred at 3:15 a.m. Sunday to the software that holds the nonprofit corporation's fund-raising data.

The company's computer system automatically notified employees of the break-in through an electronic log. They also received an anonymous e-mail from someone who told them their system had been hacked.

Officials announced the breach so members would be aware that fund-raising data may have been compromised.

"We want them to be aware to see if there's any funny business going on with their credit cards," Morin said.

The station has tried to shut all electronic doors to its server, located in Bangor, and is taking added precautions to prevent future attacks, Morin said.

Federal authorities also have been notified, though Morin said the company was told there is no need for an investigation unless there is proof of financial damage.