Boston College has informed 120,000 alumni that hackers have had access to their personal information.
Last week a computer, used for fund-raising archives, had its security breached and started an investigation into whether any personal deatails, such as social security numbers, had been accessed.
“Fortunately, an extensive computer forensics investigation concluded that the computer was not targeted to access personal information, but to allow the hacker to launch attacks on other computers on the internet,” the college said in a statement. “The University reports that it has no evidence that personal information was accessed in any way. However, given the seriousness of the issue, Boston College decided to send out a precautionary advisory to those alumni whose names were on the database.”
The news arrives in the same month that the press has been reporting hacking incidents in two other US educational establishments. Last week 59,000 people with connections to California State University in Chico were informed that hackers had installed rootkit software onto an internal system. The software could be used for mining information.
Harvard University revealed a hacking incident of its own when a intruder managed to gain access to its admission systems and helped applicants log on to learn whether they had been successful weeks before they were to find out. The school said it would reject applicants who had followed the hackers instructions and accessed the database.
“Hacking into a system in this manner is unethical and also contrary to the behavior we expect of leaders we aspire to develop,” said Steve Nelson, executive director of the MBA program at Harvard Business School.
Earlier this month SC reported a Harvard student received a suspended fine for publishing exploit code for a French firm’s anti-virus products.