University Student Data Exposed in Server Breach

Eastern Illinois University adds its name to the growing number of schools that have fallen prey to hackers. eSecurityPlanet takes a look at the latest attack, which compromised the information of thousands of students.

Eastern Illinois University officials this week said they are investigating how and why hackers infiltrated the school’s admissions server last month, gaining access to the personal information of more than 9,000 former, current, and prospective students.

According to a posting on the university’s Web site, someone gained access to the critical server for more than six days in mid-November after the server was infected with the Virut virus.

Eastern Illinois officials said the server then became infected with a number of other viruses that allowed the attackers to have their way with student application data stretching from March 2000 through November of this year.

The breach was discovered during a routine security check of the university’s data networks. School officials also said the virus managed to spread to two other administration computers that contained additional personal information from student files and admissions applications.

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