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Hacking of EIU Computer Data Base under Investigation

Investigators probing a security breach of computer network at Eastern Illinois University (Illinois, USA) haven't reached any conclusion.

Actually, regular security monitoring activity discovered that a PC installed at the campus had been showing unusual behavior on November 16, 2009. Thus, an investigation was started which revealed that malware had compromised the particular PC on November 11, 2009. The malware was letting an outsider to gain control over it.

The investigation further found that information of undergraduate admission obtained electronically was stored on the computer and it was related to about 9,000 students. However, no evidence is available if the remote hacker actually accessed or misused the information.

Adam Dodge, Assistant Director of Information Security for Eastern Information Technology Services at EIU, said that since a virus compromised the system, officials didn't think the attack was targeted at the school's data base, as reported by Jg-tc on December 4, 2009.

Moreover, the investigation found that the malware, which led to the security violation, was a computer virus 'Virut.' This virus was a file contaminator of polymorphic type having some extra features. It infected the drive and everything around it along with files that had been previously infected by another worm.

Indeed, Dodge continued that Virut had been in the wild for sometime, but fresh variants often emerged. Consequently, the University updated its PCs, he said.

He also said that since the security breach was still under investigation to determine its full effect, the school was informing students and suggesting them to review their finances. EIU was also offering a free credit monitoring to determine if any personal information were stolen or not, Dodge added.

Meanwhile, a virus attacking computer server and thereby other connected systems of a university isn't something new.

During November 2009, a malware attacked computer systems at the University of Pittsburgh's Johnstown (Pennsylvania, USA) that made the school shutdown its computer laboratory and calling off many lab-based classes, the university's officials had reported. During April 2009, the University of Utah reportedly had Conficker virus that infected over 700 of its PCs.

Related article: Hacking Attacks Are Increasing to Haunt Banks

ยป SPAMfighter News - 16-12-2009

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