Thursday, April 27, 2006

Incident: Server with personal information hacked at Alaska University

Though this involves names and social security numbers of 39,000 students, faculty and staff, I was thinking that these university incidents may be becoming too frequent and mundane to report about...

KTVA - Local:

"Hacker gets into UAF database

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is taking steps to prevent another computer breach.

Steve Smith, U.A.'s chief information technology officer, says the university's Computer Incident Response Team, has conducted a security sweep. And he says a consultant has been hired to help strengthen the walls around the university's computer network.

The problem showed up on a server at the Kuskokwim campus in Bethel. The files have been taken off-line, as well as four similar ones recently found during a search of other university servers.

University officials say the hacker had access to the names, Social Security numbers and partial e-mail addresses of nearly 39-thousand current and former University of Alaska Fairbanks students, faculty and staff.

And they say the hacker had access to the information for nearly a year. "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a broader problem than just this reported one at the rural campuses.
From: "MPB, Ph.D."
Subject: KuC computers

This is hardly the first such breach in campus security. During 2000-2001 we had no firewalls and constant attacks. I reported the breaches to the administration. I have documented when entire directories were removed. No effort was made to secure the servers. No effort was made to secure machines to prevent hijacking of browsers or of using the server for spam and other Internet attacks. Not only that, but performance was affected on the server. Eventually the hard drive crashed and thousands of dollars spent to reconstruct data, too late for many students.

It's outrageous that the university doesn't consider computer security or quality at rural campuses to be worth investigating. I'm afraid that the University response is inadequate at best. --"The university has received no reports of identity theft related to this issue. However, individuals have the option of protecting themselves against possible misuse of personal information by contacting one of the three major credit reporting agencies, each of which has an automated phone-in fraud alert process."

MPB, former Asst. Prof. of Applied Business and computer studies, KuC

UAF investigating breach of Kuskokwim Campus server
The Associated Press
Published: April 20, 2006
Last Modified: April 20, 2006 at 04:30 PM"