San Fran college's computer network compromised

Jan 14, 2012

(AP) -- The computer networks of a San Francisco community college have been infected with software viruses that illegally transmitted personal data from students and employees overseas, school officials said Friday.

Administrators for the City College of San Francisco found the rogue software, known as , in a computer lab over the Thanksgiving weekend. They determined the problem was widespread and that such viruses had been lurking in its computers for more than a decade.

"We looked in the system and discovered these things were all over the place," John Rizzo, president of the college's Board of Trustees, told The Associated Press.

The , which was first reported Friday by the , could affect up to 100,000 students who take classes at campuses across the city each year. The school has about 3,000 employees.

The college has begun notifying students, faculty and staff that their may have been compromised, officials said. No cases of identity theft have been linked to the breach so far, and no victims have come forward, they said.

The malware, which is commonly used by organized crime to steal personal data, had recorded keystrokes and took screen shots to capture and sent the data to China, Russia and other countries, Rizzo said.

Every day after 10 p.m., at least seven viruses were trolling the school's networks and sending data to sites abroad, officials said.

"We don't know the extent to which data was captured," Rizzo said. "We don't know if individuals were affected, if they had data stolen that has affected them. But the potential is there."

He said there was no evidence that the community college had been specifically targeted by hackers. Administrators did not know how the school's networks became infected by the viruses.

Officials said the school was removing the malware from its servers and computers. College officials said they were working on strengthening network security but urged students and staff to avoid online activities on campus computers that require passwords or personal information.

Explore further: US Congress decriminalizes cellphone unlocking

More information: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hackers breach UC Berkeley computer database

May 08, 2009

(AP) -- University of California, Berkeley, officials said Friday that hackers infiltrated restricted computer databases, putting at risk health and other personal information on 160,000 students, alumni and others.

University posts info of 40K students

Oct 29, 2010

(AP) -- The Social Security numbers, grades and other personal information of more than 40,000 former University of Hawaii students were posted online for nearly a year before being removed this week, The Associated Press ...

Recommended for you

Scalping can raise ticket prices

Jul 25, 2014

Scalping gets a bad rap. For years, artists and concert promoters have stigmatized ticket resale as a practice that unfairly hurts their own sales and forces fans to pay exorbitant prices for tickets to sold-out concerts. ...

Study shows role of media in sharing life events

Jul 24, 2014

To share is human. And the means to share personal news—good and bad—have exploded over the last decade, particularly social media and texting. But until now, all research about what is known as "social sharing," or the ...

User comments : 0