Hackers Threaten University of Pittsburgh with Disclosure of Students’ Personal Info if Demands Are Not Met

Jacob Kleinman reports:

Members of the hacktivist collective calling itself “Anonymous” are targeting the University of Pittsburgh, and threatening to release a wealth of private information regarding the school and its students, if the University does not “apologize to your students, law enforcement, and professors on your home page of your domain for a duration of no less then fifteen days!”

In a three-minute long video directly addressing the Computer Science (CS) and Law departments in particular, Anonymous claims to have obtained every students personal information including passwords, dorm information, payment and credit information, parent information, coursework and grades, as well alumni information. According to the video, Anonymous has deleted the information, which was poorly protected, from the University’s website, but will post it publicly online if their demands are not met by Monday, May 6.

Read more on International Business Times, where you can read the full text of Anonymous’s statement.

Sadly, I think Anonymous has just played right into the hands of those who would promote CISPA and broad information sharing by non–government entities with the federal government.  Anonymous is also showing no regard for the privacy of students who have done nothing wrong but who may have their details posted online.

The hack is reportedly in response to the university being involved in the arrest of several supporters of Anonymous. And while the university might be embarrassed or incur expenses if the data are all posted online, I suspect there will be a greater backlash against Anonymous for using the 99% as a mere tool in their campaign.

The university already caved in to one demand, dropping a posted reward for information resulting in the apprehension of party or parties who pranked the university. Will they cave in to this demand, too?

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