17 Jan 2012

Virus stole college's data for years

In a definite case of neglect and lack of good internet security, the City College of San Francisco apparently had information from tens of thousands of students, faculty and administration stolen by viruses for years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The viruses were allegedly grabbing information for more than a decade.

"It appeared at first that the problem was contained in a single computer lab at Cloud Hall on the Phelan Avenue campus, one of a dozen City College sites around the city," according to the news source, which said David Hotchkiss, CIO of the school, immediately shut down the lab and reported the problem. A closer look found the virus had been sitting in the school's system for years, according to the news source.

It's unclear what has been affected, but the school is investigating to see if the virus made its way into the school's payroll, admissions and accounting systems. Chancellor Don Griffin told the Chronicle that they have to move as quickly as possible and hope for no serious infections.

Information was sent to sites in Russia, China and at least eight other countries, including Iran and the U.S. Hotchkiss said these viruses are shining a light on years of security neglect. People, schools and businesses should all protect themselves with good antivirus software.