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Stanford among hackers’ targets, security breaches minor

“Team GhostShell” claimed responsibility on Oct. 1 for hacking several major universities, including Stanford, and posting student and employee records online.

“Our information security officers consider the breaches to have been minor in nature,” University Spokeswoman Lisa Lapin wrote in an email to The Daily.

The group called the attack “#ProjectWestWind” and claimed to have hacked into more than 120,000 computer accounts at affected universities.

“We had two small Web sites accessed, one within a department and one within a program, that did not contain sensitive information,” Lapin said. “No restricted or prohibited data was compromised, nor was any student or employee personal information, nor information that could lead to identity theft.”

A statement posted on an Internet forum announced what Team GhostShell had hoped to accomplish with the hack. The statement was followed by a list of links distributing the data.

“We have set out to raise awareness towards the changes made in today’s education, how new laws imposed by politicians affect us, our economy and overall all, our way of life,” the post said. “Tuition fees have spikes up so much that by the time you finish any sort of degree, you will be in more debt than you can handle and with no certainty that you will get a job.”

The affected Stanford sites and servers have been secured.

Other schools affected include Harvard, UPenn, Cornell, NYU, Michigan, Duke, Johns Hopkins and Cambridge. In all, dozens of American and international universities were hacked.

–Alice Phillips

About Alice Phillips

Alice Phillips '15 is Managing Editor of News at The Stanford Daily. Previously, she worked as the paper's Deputy Editor, Chief Copy Editor, a News Desk Editor and a News Staff Writer. Alice is a biology major from Los Angeles, California.