Hackers Steal Applicant Data from Three U.S. Colleges
Hackers have stolen applicant data from Ohio’s Oberlin College, Iowa-based Grinnell College and New York’s Hamilton College and are seeking money from students to retrieve their files.
Hackers recently targeted Oberlin College in Ohio, Iowa-based Grinnell College and New York’s Hamilton College, stealing data on students applying for admission to their schools, according to reporting by the Wall Street Journal. According to the Journal, hackers were able to trick university staff members into providing passwords, which allowed them to take control over databases housing information from student applicants.
The hackers are now asking for one bitcoin—currently about $3,800—from students to retrieve their “entire admission file,” which includes teacher recommendations and comments from the admissions department, among other data.
According to the Journal, admissions processes at each of the targeted colleges were managed using a platform called Slate, from Technosolutions. After the hackers obtained passwords giving them access to the college networks, they reportedly targeted the Slate software to obtain the student data.
Alexander Clark, CEO of Technosolutions, told the Journal that his company has been in contact with the three targeted universities. Clark said he’s requested the schools “review the security practices of their single sign-on and password reset systems.”
The colleges told the Journal that they are investigating the incident and informing affected students.