Friday, March 11, 2005

Rejected applicants deny hacking school sites

IHT: " Instructions on a Web site promised business school applicants an early online peek at whether they had been accepted. Intrigued, some gave it a try. One man accessed the Harvard Business School's admission site, though all he saw was a blank page. Still, that split-second decision cost the 28-year-old New Yorker a chance to attend the school this year. Many others also were turned down for using a method detailed in a BusinessWeek online forum to try to get an early glimpse at admissions decisions in top business schools.

In a blanket rejection issued Monday, Harvard dashed the hopes of 119 applicants. MIT followed suit Tuesday, rejecting 32 applicants. Carnegie Mellon was the first to act, delivering the bad news to its 'hacker' applicants last week. Some of the Harvard applicants took issue with the university Tuesday, saying the blanket rejection was an overreaction. They disputed that accessing a public Web page with their own identification numbers was either a 'hack' or 'unethical,' as the dean of Harvard Business School, Kim Clark, put it.

Admissions sites of at least six schools were accessed by applicants for about 10 hours March 2 after a hacker posted instructions on the online forum. Some applicants saw blank pages and others viewed rejection letters before access was denied. The dean of the Sloan School of Management at MIT, Richard Schmalensee, likened the hacking to an applicant using the keys to the admissions office to enter at night.

One applicant questioned how it was unethical to view information that was intended only for you, if you have no intent or ability to change it. He argued that Harvard and ApplyYourself, a Fairfax, Virginia-based online application and notification program company used by all the schools, are also responsible because they did not adequately protect the information.

"What better way to protect themselves then shift the blame to someone else?" he asked."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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