Nov 162018

Andrew Kinney reports on a hack at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

Registration at Stevens is like high school sports. It involves waking up at seven in the morning to repeat mindless drills (furiously clicking through Web Self Services). It works with a class hierarchy — juniors trump sophomores who trump freshmen, with seniors reigning supreme. Students put in hours of extra effort in order to make varsity and gain all the perks that go with it (early registration). Worst of all, students’ position on the team could be stripped away at any time by injuries or promising upstarts, dampening their future hopes.

Jonathan Pavlik, a senior, had that final scenario happen to him this past registration period. Eight hours after enrolling in all of the classes he needed to graduate. Pavlik stated that in his conversation with Information Technology, he was told that someone else hacked into his Web Self Services account and dropped all of his classes.

Read more on The Stute.

And why do I mention this here? Because it was too damned easy to hack the student’s registration, and the student had reportedly alerted the school’s IT people to the concerns years ago, only to be brushed off:

According to Pavlik, Stevens’ Department of Information Technology has known about this issue for years. He says that two years ago, he realized how the current system could be used maliciously so he notified Information Technology in hopes that they would fortify the system. According to him, their response was that exploiting the vulnerability would be illegal, therefore no one would attempt it, and it did not need to be addressed. The same vulnerability that he described to them ended up being used against him two years later.

Nov 132018

Keumars Afifi-Sabet reports:

Attackers have been exploiting a flaw in a WordPress GDPR-compliance plugin to hijack vulnerable websites and implement remote code execution.

The flaw had been present in Wordfence’s GDPR Compliance plugin for at least four months and, ironically, allowed hackers to gain access to a site using the tool. Hackers could then execute any action and update any database value.

There are examples of live sites infected using this attack method, including instances of malicious actors installing several administrator accounts, according to WordPress threat analyst Mikey Veenstra.

Read more on Alphr.

Nov 122018

Mandla Ndlovu reports from Zimbabwe:

Midlands State University was forced to postpone its Student Representative Council Elections after hackers breached the security system.

In a statement posted on the Registrar E Mupfiga said:

This communication serves to inform you that the SRC elections which were scheduled for Thursday, 9 November 2018 and Thursday, 15 November 2018 have been postponed until further notice.

The postponement is as a result of a serious and massive security breach which has been detected by our Information and Technology experts.

Please note that the University has a duty to ensure that the SRC elections are conducted in a credible, professional and transparent manner so that the results thereof, truly reflect the will of all the students.

Read more on Bulawayo. Visiting the vote web page today, one sees a simple message:

We are back
Our Hands – Our Minds – Our Destiny

But who is back? The hackers? The postponement notice is still linked from the university’s home page.

Meanwhile, on November 4, St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia opted to shut down its network after discovering that they were being cyrptomined.

In an online statement released by the university, it was revealed that the school’s network had to be temporarily shut down after discovering that cybercriminals had been exploiting its computing system’s power so as to mine cryptocurrency.

Read more about that one on The Chronicle Herald.

Nov 102018

Audra Levy reports:

If you went looking for the profile of Little Miami High School on Google on Thursday, you would have been in for a surprise.

Someone hacked the profile and renamed the school “Gay Night Club For Teens”.

That “someone” appears to have used the school network, and the administration seems to think that they will be able to identify a student or students responsible for the misconduct.

When the student or students who are responsible are identified, they could face disciplinary consequences for violating our acceptable use policy,” said Briggs.

Read more on Fox19.

Nov 092018

WTKR reports on an incident in Chesapeake, Virginia:

An attack on computers at Grassfield High School has students and parents concerned. Chesapeake Public Schools says a malware attack is responsible for taking the school off the grid.

The school district said a virus entered their network through phishing emails sent to employees. Only a couple of divisions have been affected and it’s not a system-wide outage. However, it impacted Grassfield High School in a big way. Classes heavily relying on technology were affected, but the others carried on as usual.

Read more on WTKR.