By Cindy Kuang
Several Stanford network printers were compromised in a cyber-attack that sent anti-Semitic flyers to various offices on campus. The FBI and Stanford University IT are investigating the incident jointly.
The Information Security Office (ISO) will be auditing University printers to identify potential vulnerabilities. At the same time, Stanford has taken measures to secure the network and prevent additional hack attempts from succeeding.
The flyers may be part of a broader effort affecting multiple universities. Similar flyers with swastikas and the date of President Donald Trump’s inauguration were found at printers across UC Berkeley earlier this month. Last March, The Washington Post named Andrew Auernheimer, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, as the hacker responsible for sending anti-Semitic flyers to several institutions, including the University of Maryland and Princeton. Auernheimer told The Post he hacked at least 20,000 printers across the U.S.
It is unclear who is responsible for the flyers sent through the Stanford network. The Post reported that the original flyer incidents may have sparked copycat crimes.
Stanford’s hack follows the discovery of swastikas with inverted arms drawn on various buildings and signs on campus over winter break. Last week saw another wave of anti-Semitic graffiti when several more symbols were discovered over the weekend in Escondido Village. The Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) has been working on the case in cooperation with the Palo Alto police but has not yet named any suspects.
There is no evidence at this time connecting the flyers with the campus vandalism incidents, but the apparent upturn in hate crime on campus leaves the University concerned. In an email addressed to students and faculty, Stanford administration highlighted its “Acts of Intolerance Protocol” and urged students to report hate crimes through the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.
Individuals with information on either the flyers incident or the swastika vandalisms are urged to contact the SUDPS at (650) 329-2413.
Contact Cindy Kuang at ckuang ‘at’ stanford.edu.