[ISN] Romanian hacker breaks in to UA journalism computers

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Feb 15 03:13:51 EST 2006


By Djamila Grossman 
Arizona Daily Star 
Tucson, Arizona 

Hackers broke into the computer system of the University of Arizona
journalism department, and students were unable to use the computers

All of the department's Apple Macintosh computers were affected and
have been logged off the server and the Internet until the problem is
solved, said Jacqueline Sharkey, head of the department.

No information has been lost so far, she said.

It was unclear Monday how long it would take to fix the security leak,
she said. "It's a very serious issue, and we took action immediately,"  
Sharkey said.

Department officials uncovered the problem during the weekend when
they ran a security check on the computers.

Many of the computers have had issues in the past weeks that led to
temporary shutdowns, but Sharkey said everyone thought it was a
hardware problem.

The computers are protected by a password, and Sharkey said she
suspects that the hackers got through by trying "again and again and

The security check showed that in other unrelated cases, hackers from
Korea and Indonesia had tried to gain access to the system but were
unsuccessful, she said.

"No type of computer is invulnerable," she said. "Attempts are really
common, but they usually fail. In this particular case, the person was
able to get in."

The department works together with the UA's Center for Computing and
Information Technology, which determined that the hacker was in
Romania, Sharkey said.

Computers used by students to produce the Daily Wildcat newspaper were
not affected.

All journalism classes will continue on schedule.

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