The break-in at BC is the second such incident to be reported this week by a university. On Monday, officials at California State University in Chico disclosed that hackers had broken into a housing and food service system containing personal information — including the names and Social Security numbers — of about 59,000 current, former and prospective students, faculty and staff.
A statement on the school’s Web site said the intruders apparently installed rootkit software on the system for storing music, movie and game files. They also attempted to break into other university computers, the school said.
At BC, Dunn said the hacker planted a program that would launch attacks against other computers.
Dunn said the investigation concluded that the computer wasn’t targeted to access personal information but to allow the hacker to launch remote attacks.
“IT has done a thorough investigation, and they have determined the personal information, including Social Security numbers, was not accessed,” Dunn said. “But given the seriousness of the issue, we decided to send out the precautionary advisories to all of our alumni on the computer, and we offered guidelines they should consider to insure their privacy.”
BC is now purging all Social Security numbers from this computer and will no longer use Social Security numbers as alumni identifiers, Dunn said. He said the school will institute a new identification system.
This scenario is becoming all too familiar, not just at colleges, etc. But home systems too.
NOTE: Originally posted: March 2005 (recreated from mangled original bambismusings.blogspot.com)