San Fran College Hacked Since 1999

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 04:01 PM gHale

The computers found in a lab in the San Francisco City College Cloud Hall suffered from a malicious virus since 1999.

Originating from countries such as Russia, Iran, U.S. and China, the malware had been harvesting all sorts of sensitive information, sending it back to the masterminds that controlled the viruses.

Snort to Boost SCADA Security
Data Compromise; the New Business Risk
Hacked Systems and Poor Passwords
Feds: No Cyber Intrusion at IL Water Plant

City College’s CTO David Hotchkiss shut down the first infected lab, but he soon realized the problem was much more serious than initially believed, some of the threats being present since 1999.

“We may never know the full extent of the damage, and how many lives have been affected by this. These viruses are shining a light on years of [security] neglect,” Hotchkiss said.

While some of the data collected by the malicious software was unimportant, such as lesson plans, other information the viruses could have accessed represented sensitive stuff like banking information.

To make sure they remain undetected, at least seven viruses went into play only at night, after 10 p.m., sending all the information they could find on desktop computers and servers back to the cybercriminals that controlled them.

Of all the IPs, 723 of them traced back to the cybercriminal gang the Russian Business Network since November 28.

Hotchkiss has been CTO at City College for about one and a half years and one of his tasks is to secure their infrastructure. He said there are quite a few things that need improvement, not just in the infrastructure, but also in the way everyone perceives cyber security.

Unfortunately, due to the size of the computer network and its old, insecure design, the task is turning out to be more of a challenge.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.