The Tech Herald

University of Wisconsin's computers hijacked by Malware

by Steve Ragan - Aug 12 2011, 13:00

The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee (UWM) recently reported a system compromise, and the Malware installed potentially exposed sensitive documents and the Social Security Numbers of 75,000 individuals.

“We first became aware of the situation May 25, 2011, when we discovered that computer hackers had installed malware (computer viruses) on one university server, which housed a software system serving several campus departments and which managed confidential information,” a breach notification letter explains.

“Several weeks into the investigation, on or around June 30, 2011, we discovered that a database associated with the system was accessible to the hackers. This database included the names and social security numbers of approximately 75,000 individuals associated with the university, primarily current and former employees and students.”

The university is currently working with law enforcement and security experts to fully investigate and resolve the incident. Investigators believe that the motive was not identity theft, rather the attackers wanted to access the other information stored on the server.

Tom Luljak, UWM's vice chancellor for university relations, told the local media that the campus is primarily a “research institution with a significant number of projects under way. It is theorized that this may have been an attempt to look at work being done.”

At the same time, the university has no evidence proving successful access to the information stored on compromised servers.

The university has created a website with more information and tips on identity protection, which can be viewed here.

 

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