CA: Viruses stole City College of San Francisco data for over a decade before being detected

Nanette Asimov reports:

Personal banking information and other data from perhaps tens of thousands of students, faculty and administrators at City College of San Francisco have been stolen in what is being called “an infestation” of computer viruses with origins in criminal networks in Russia, China and other countries, The Chronicle has learned.

At work for more than a decade, the viruses were detected a few days after Thanksgiving, when the college’s data security monitoring service detected an unusual pattern of computer traffic, flagging trouble.

Read more on San Francisco Chronicle.

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  1. major tom - January 20, 2012

    ahhhh the Russian Business network. The RBN was quite the vile place to get directed to, as it used to serve a whole lot of badware ( bad adware – start out with small simple gifts, then cars, then eventually porn links) it hosted zeno tecnico as well. Zeno would build shares through use of shortcuts and if anyone with a higher priveledge logged on to a workstation, it would connect the badware from computer to computer. it was some pretty bad stuff.

    It sounds like this report is much like anything else. Added verbage suggests that this COULD have acessed the servers in question – they were unsure. It looks like the condition started out in a lab, and from there may have spread.

    Reporters, if thats what you want to call them, need to stick to the facts. They over inflate the initial reports in order for the story to catch the publics’ eye and then qhen questioned about the particular issue, they say “thats what my source said”. Stinkers.

    My questions are:
    1. Ten years? Don’t they periodically check logs, servers or infrastructure for issues?
    2. How about antivirus updates ? If these boxes were able to pass data back to the bad sites, they should have been able to grab Antivirus updates as well.
    3. In a typical lab environment, workstations and laptops are occasionally reimaged, or even replaced on a semi reliable schedule. If these laptops or workstations have been around for over 10 years, without any IT maintenance, then the IT staff needs a stiff kick in the pants.

    Though the RBN may appear to be down, I bet they have pulled up chocks and have moved to parts unknown and have re-established themselves. What they were doing was illegal, but I am sure they made alot of money, and found another ISP that puts up with them as long as the bills are paid, the ISP doesn’t care.

    Purchase a few network appliances that can be employed near the perimeter of the network that can look for nasty addons and websites and help the campus become a little less likely to get attacked. It offers centralized management and pretty graphics so even the executive level personnel can see if they have in issue to resolve.

    Status Quo is never a good idea in Network security or IT management.

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