The Oxford and Cambridge-style rivalry between top US universities Princeton and Yale has bubbled over into a cyber spat.
Yale University has complained to the FBI that admissions officials at Princeton hacked into a Yale website set up for prospective students.
More than 18 unauthorised logins to the site were traced back to computers at Princeton.
The FBI confirmed that it is investigating the case to see if there had been a federal violation.
According to the head of admissions at Princeton, the school was simply checking the Yale site to see how secure it was. It was easy to gain access as Princeton could look up students who had applied to both schools.
Stephen LeMenager, Princeton's associate dean and director of admissions, told the Yale Daily News: "It was really an innocent way for us to check out the security.
"That was our main concern of having an online notification system, that it would be susceptible to people who had that information - parents, guidance counsellors, and admissions officers at other schools."
But unfortunately for LeMenager his policy did not impress the Princeton administration. He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an inquiry into the incident.
Marilyn Marks, a spokeswoman for Princeton, said: "The actions reported today by the Yale Daily News represent a serious lapse of judgement by at least one member of our admissions staff.
"The improper use of information provided to the university in good faith may have affected the ability of students to obtain information about their admission to Yale, something we deeply regret."
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