Penn State University’s Computer Network Hit by Hackers

Penn State University

Penn State University’s computer network at the College of Engineering has reportedly been attacked by China-based hackers. The university said that the hackers stole usernames and passwords issued by the college.

The university had been notified about the security breach by the FBI last November and at the time the attack was still underway. Administrators had been investigating it internally, trying to identify the hackers. They said that their computer networks were breached twice and one of them was traced to China. They also learnt that this was not the first attack and discovered an event back in September 2012.

The university has contacted 18,000 students and professors who had their social security numbers and other sensitive information on the breached systems. They also said that the cyberattack was not targeted at this data.

The College of Engineering, meanwhile, has cut the internet connection for the next few days. They have also hired Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm, to look into the hacking incident and recover the affected systems.

Penn State University has ties to several private companies and also works with the U.S. Department of Defense. It is being suggested that the hackers might have been after this data which can include emails of high-ranking officials and research results.

By Anugya Chitransh

Sources:

NBC News: Penn State Hit by China-Based Hacker, University Says

Recode: Penn State Engineering School Cuts Off Internet After Hacking Attacks

Photo Courtesy of shidairyproduct’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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