News, Vulnerability

Hackers leak 120,000 student records in raid on world’s top unis

We don’t need no education – except in web programming

Hackers have attacked the world’s top 100 universities in a protest against tuition fees and what’s deemed to be a falling quality of education.

Anonymous-affiliated Team GhostShell dumped information from 120,000 user accounts and student records after raiding servers at institutions including Princeton, Harvard, Cambridge and Imperial College London. Universities in Moscow, Rome and Tokyo were also hit in a string of database breaches that spanned three continents.

The leaked data includes email addresses, passwords, the names of students and faculty members, event schedules, and information best kept private. The sensitive records, obtained in a campaign dubbed Project West Wind, were uploaded to the web and linked to from a lengthy manifestopublished on Pastebin. Curiously, the miscreants chose to use trendy source-code vault GitHub to host a collection of the snaffled databases.

The hacking crew said many of the university systems it infiltrated were already riddled with malware, a claim that is unfortunately all too believable. The dumped files contain URLs to PHP-scripted pages on the targeted institutions’ websites, along with the contents of SQL tables, suggesting that SQL injection attacks were used to extract information from the systems.

GhostShell previously surfaced with the leak of documents and data lifted from government agencies, banks and consulting firms back in August. ®

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