Hackers Target Universities Millions of Times Each Week
Personal details, intellectual property at risk
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2013 9:48 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – College campuses are becoming increasingly less safe, but the threat is not physical. Universities are under attack from hackers, with America's institutions of higher learning facing millions of attempted cyberattacks, mostly from China, every week, the New York Times reports. At stake is far more than a bunch of first-year essays on War and Peace: personal details, like Social Security numbers; or valuable research data and intellectual property are at risk. And as the attacks increase, universities are having to rethink their culture of openness.

"We get 90,000 to 100,000 attempts per day, from China alone," says an associate dean at the University of Wisconsin. Some universities now advise faculty from taking computers and cellphones out of the country, while others require that those who do have their computers scrubbed on return. And fighting off this growing threat comes at an increasingly high cost, reports the Times. Purdue spent more than $1 million on security for a single program related to infectious diseases. At UC Berkley, the multimillion-dollar cybersecurity budget has doubled since last year. "We treat the overall Berkeley network as just as hostile as the Internet outside," says the university's network security manager.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
scott-houghton
Jul 19, 2013 8:12 AM CDT
Wish they'd just piss off
NorCalHal
Jul 18, 2013 10:11 PM CDT
Just looking for Barry's transcripts..
HMD-SMD-ITY
Jul 17, 2013 7:58 PM CDT
Why hack? China's interns and exchange students simply walk in the front door and walk out with a thumb drive of any research data they want and its in party hands the next day. Its Chinese law. US companies such as energy and defense are learning the hard way. Devon has a highly proprietary imaging system that works in 4d. They were careful to never hook up to any system with an outside connection. It was limited to their own internal intranet. But the security office has detected numerous attempts to remove parts of the code. Every attempt was by an intern. They are quickly escorted out the back door. It doesn't help that universities are very eager to open up branches in China. That allows a free pipeline of "spies" to come to the USA to steal our technology. Quite frankly, do you think god miracled China all that technology they now have?