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Blog, Enterprise IT, Security - Written by Renai LeMay on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 16:40 - 2 Comments
Two Sydney universities get hacked
blog It hasn’t been a good few weeks for university IT security in Australia. The first story in this vein that caught our eye this week was the news that an anonymous hacker has broken into the University of Western Sydney’s email servers in order to spam students and staff protesting the university’s recent decision to buy all first year students and staff Apple iPads. The Register reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“Email servers at the University of Western Sydney, which last year announced it would hand iPads to all staff and over 10,000 incoming students, have been hacked by someone using the name ‘Anonymous’.”
In a second story, which broke almost simultaneously, the Sydney Morning Herald brings us the story of a similar break-in at the University of New SOuth Wales. The publication reports (again, we recommend you click here for the full article):
“The University of NSW has been the target of a “concerted effort” to hack its systems in December and January forcing the shutdown of 25 of its servers, a spokesman confirmed.”
We can’t say that the news of these IT break-ins comes as that much of a surprise. When your writer was at university in Sydney a decade ago it was pretty well-known that the campus systems were often inadvertently left pretty wide open to whoever wanted to break into them. At that stage, many universities also had very little in the way of centralised IT infrastructure, with each faculty and department often being responsible for their own IT systems.
While much of this has been cleared up — especially at UNSW, which established a central office of the chief information officer — I am sure quite a bit of this philosophy still remains and bedevils university attempts to maintain IT security. Academics are hard to keep in line at the best of times and tend to do what they want to … and when you have tens of thousands of students on each campus, many of them with elite IT skills in their own right, it’s very hard to keep a lid on things.
My guess is that these kinds of articles about break-ins represent only the tip of the iceberg — and that for every university IT hack that gets reported, dozens more go under the radar.
Latest Delimiter 2.0 articles (subscriber content)
|Politicians from Australia’s major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community’s ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.|
|The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor’s Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?|
|Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.|
|Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation’s public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.|
|NBN Co’s Strategic Review process gives the company an unmissable opportunity to re-evaluate the early decision to deploy its FTTP network primarily through Telstra’s underground ducts. The company and its new Coalition masters must now seriously consider deploying more fibre aerially on power poles in an effort to speed up its rollout substantially.|
|That moment which many Australian technologists fervently hoped for but never expected to see has come to pass: Simon Hackett has been appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company. But what questions should the Internode founder be asking NBN Co’s executive management team? Here’s five ideas to start with.|
|The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.|
Enterprise IT, News - Dec 6, 2013 12:50 - 0 Comments
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News, Telecommunications - Dec 6, 2013 11:54 - 144 Comments
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Digital Rights, News - Dec 5, 2013 14:08 - 25 Comments
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