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Viruses Stole City College of S.F. Data For Years

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the measuring-failure-in-decades dept.

Security 93

An anonymous reader sends this quote from an article at the San Francisco Chronicle: "Personal banking information and other data from perhaps tens of thousands of students, faculty and administrators at City College of San Francisco have been stolen in what is being called 'an infestation' of computer viruses with origins in criminal networks in Russia, China and other countries, The Chronicle has learned. At work for more than a decade, the viruses were detected a few days after Thanksgiving, when the college's data security monitoring service detected an unusual pattern of computer traffic, flagging trouble."

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GOD BLESS AMERICA! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699278)

Sometimes when I poop, I use the shaping attachment from my old Play Doh fun set. I place it on my anus, and make poops in different shapes. There is nothing strange about it at all. I'm an American, living in America, and if I want to have poops shaped like starts, I have every right to. The founding fathers would have wanted it this way.

Re:GOD BLESS AMERICA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38703188)

The founding fathers would have wanted it this way.

NOT TRUE!!! They believed very strongly in the separation of Church and Shite

Human failure (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699314)

"students and faculty have used college computers to do their banking"

That's the main problem. Using sensitive data through public locations such as a college computer is not, in any way, safe.

Re:Human failure (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699488)

After years of explaining this to people, I have come to the conclusion that no matter what people are going to do it. Simply put, if banks allow people to log in to their accounts from random computers, people are going to do so without any regard for security. It is convenient, and the one thing you can expect people to do is something that is convenient.

Re:Human failure (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699632)

Yeah, that's not something that I ever do. I logged into my email one time from a random computer, but that's the only time. I did change my password shortly thereafter and didn't have any trouble.

These days what I do is run a virus scan from a write only thumbdrive before I do anything at all on a strange computer. (If anybody is curious, I'm using a kanguru flashblu 2 with a portable antivirurs program and it works just great for that)

Re:Human failure (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700102)

write only thumbdrive

That sounds pretty useless

Re:Human failure (4, Funny)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700328)

No! It's a GREAT layer of security! You can't load into memory what you can't read!

Re:Human failure (1)

Wootery (1087023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700230)

These days what I do is run a virus scan from a write only thumbdrive before I do anything at all on a strange computer. (If anybody is curious, I'm using a kanguru flashblu 2 with a portable antivirurs program and it works just great for that)

If you're making the effort, you could just as well keep an Ubuntu live-boot USB key.

Your only security worry then would be hardware keyloggers, and you'd get the considerable bonus of not having to suffer a strange computer's browser - few things are more horrifying than IE with only half the window's real-estate usable for plugins.

Re:Human failure (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700442)

The only problem with that is that you're not necessarily going to be able to get online in that fashion. True it is more secure, but by the same token if one needs to go online one is going to have to take some risks.

And since it wasn't clear, I don't personally visit banking sites like that nor do I log into sites where I don't have a OTP as part of the log in requirements.

Re:Human failure (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700270)

You can't trust the results of that scan unless you booted the machine using the thumbdrive. Otherwise, the rootkit installed on the machine will prevent the portable AV from seeing anything wrong. This is pretty basic. Yes, your process will catch a fair percentage of bad stuff. No, it doesn't make it safe at all. Of course, you may not be able to boot to your drive if the bios is out of your control or the machine's hard drive is protected with encryption. But the only way to be sure there is nothing on it is to scan from a known good OS. That still won't help you with physical key loggers, etc. Bottom line - you should stop thinking your process makes you safe.

Re:Human failure (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700428)

It depends what you're doing. I shouldn't have implied that I'd be typing in passwords to such a machine because you are indeed correct about that. I also shouldn't have implied that I would be logging into a banking site like that. I load up my own web browser and don't log into any site where I'm not using an OTP as part of the set up.

I'm mostly worried about viruses on the odd occasion where I'm needing to check email at a cyber cafe.

Viruses Conceal Themselves - SOP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38701822)

It is now a basic technique of any "respectable" virus to inject itself into the windows kernel and assure any access to infected executables or other components of the virus is being masked.
So scanning an already infected system is a very, very pointless endeavour. Actually it will lull you in a false sense of security. And believe, even the best virus scanner can't do anything against that. You would have to boot your own WinPE or something from that USB stick to stand any chance against modern viruses.
If you can boot, then boot into something like DSL (damn small linux) or knoppix. Checking an existing windows system is a waste of time - it is safe to assume it is already penetrated by several viruses.

Re:Human failure (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704460)

Even if you boot from trusted media to run the malware scan, there is no guarantee that the system won't be infected with a piece of malware for which your scanner has no signature.

A better approach, although obviously not foolproof...

Boot from the thumbdrive, and then use that OS to access the internet...
Make sure the OS has an on screen keyboard or a non standard key mapping so as to confuse any potential hardware keylogger.

Re:Human failure (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700916)

is that manufactured by /dev/null technologies, inc?

Re:Human failure (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38702098)

You should boot from the USB drive and then scan. Kaspersky has one.

Re:Human failure (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700546)

Yeah in a small town library several days ago I saw people doing their banking on public computers.

Re:Human failure (1)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38703962)

That happens a lot I am sure, there is no security, I bet the computers were running Windows XP. The local library I visit sometimes has Windows XP computers with SP2, in 2012! There needs to be a better default operating system we could deploy in these circumstances that would do a better job of security. But if there is a hardware keylogger hidden behind the machine, then the most secure OS in the world will not protect you.

I can not manage my website on their computers as I need to use port 2083 to connect to the Cpanel software and they have blocked that. What purpose does that serve? They block that, but 4chan was still available. Still, if you have banking to do, better to use a machine that you personally have control over and not one that is administered by a foreign party.

Re:Human failure (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704466)

The library here has a 50/50 mix of imacs and xp boxes, the imacs tend to be in use while the xp boxes sit idle...

Re:Human failure (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38703870)

After years of explaining this to people, I have come to the conclusion that no matter what people are going to do it. Simply put, if banks allow people to log in to their accounts from random computers, people are going to do so without any regard for security. It is convenient, and the one thing you can expect people to do is something that is convenient.

It's called Dancing Pigs [wikipedia.org] . A user will most likely pick convenience over security.

And any bank that prevents logging in from public computers will be laughed out of business - people expect to be able to bank anywhere and everywhere. Even on their cellphones (they can't wait to go home and do it then...).

No way around it, unfortunately, and educating the user is a pointless exercise because they'll just go back to their old ways.

Perhaps if the bank issued them special keypad calculators that could compute transaction hashes (for two-factor authorization) things would help. But no.

And given banks already use Wish It Was Two-Factor [thedailywtf.com] , things won't be improving at all.

Re:Human failure (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704470)

Perhaps if the banks had better opening hours, people could actually go to the branch when they were out and about instead of having to use the cybercafe next door.

Re:Human failure (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38711706)

Perhaps if the banks had better opening hours, people could actually go to the branch when they were out and about instead of having to use the cybercafe next door.

I've only gone into a physical bank in recent years to pay in accumulated bags of coins.. Apart from having ATMs I really don't know why they bother having branches any more.

Re:Human failure (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713464)

Perhaps if the bank issued them special keypad calculators that could compute transaction hashes (for two-factor authorization) things would help. But no.

My bank kinda does. HSBC gives you a little red keypad thing which generates a code you need to log in with. Once in you can repeat actions you have done in the past, e.g. paying off a bill, but if you want to do something new like set up a money transfer to an account you have never sent money to before then you have to enter another code.

Re:Human failure (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700312)

People doing taking care of private affairs during work hours is a old story.

Re:Human failure (1)

midtowng (2541986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38702240)

As a recent former student of CCSF, I find this very disturbing. Fortunately, I always paid for my classes either in cash or by check. Never by credit card. I've always been paranoid about giving out personal information, especially online. Now it appears that I wasn't paranoid after all. You aren't paranoid when they really are out to get you.

Re:Human failure (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704456)

The worst thing is, assuming you trust the staff, a college computer lab is managed by paid staff who you would assume have some level of competence...
The average home computer on the other hand is not.

The difference from a hacker's perspective is that the average home computer, while horrendously insecure and usually not managed by someone with an IT background, only has one user to steal bank details from... A lab computer may have several.

A lab computer is also more likely to have a shared authentication system linking them together, making it much easier to compromise all the machines at once.

Re:Human failure (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38711660)

"students and faculty have used college computers to do their banking"

That's the main problem. Using sensitive data through public locations such as a college computer is not, in any way, safe.

So let's just get rid of internet banking entirely, as it can never be 100% secure?

this is (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699316)

no surprise, considering the institution

Missing details (2, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699320)

The article really doesn't clarify whether these are viruses that are detected by anti-virus software on the market, or something novel and malicious that could only be detected recently. However, the tone of the article suggests poor management and an utter lack of protection from assault, rather than some incredibly creative black hats at work:

Shortly before Hotchkiss arrived at City College, a new firewall was installed. Technicians set it up to block pornography sites, which are notorious for transmitting computer viruses.

Then faculty began complaining to Hotchkiss that students needed access to porn sites. For research.

Eventually, given examples of the academic necessity, Hotchkiss had to remove the porn block.

I can see the need for some sociology or psychology students to access porn, but only a very few on very specific projects. Methinks some faculty spanking material was the greater concern than student access to "research data" which could have been addressed by granting specific machines a bypass in the firewall configurations.

Re:Missing details (2)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699384)

I can see the need for some sociology or psychology students to access porn, but only a very few on very specific projects. Methinks some faculty spanking material was the greater concern than student access to "research data" which could have been addressed by granting specific machines a bypass in the firewall configurations.

Methinks the porn blocker was probably overzealous*, and blocked way to much.

* In general, those blockers come in two variations: The overzealous type, which gets in the way of normal usage, or the useless type, that blocks next to nothing.

Re:Missing details (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699494)

>Methinks the porn blocker was probably overzealous*, and blocked way to much.

This is the problem with filters. They don't block enough of the "bad" material and they block too much of the "legitimate" material.

For instance, I am currently in the library down the road from my house, and the filter blocks scribd of all things. But getting around the filter is as simple as going to a proxy. Access to porn is as simple as just finding something that isn't in the filter, which is surprisingly easy, like simply going to reddit's "gonewild" section.

Another example is the filter from OpenDNS. For shits and giggles I used to meta-moderate classifications. I have to say unequivocally that the most "prolific" members who classify websites are the most wildly error-prone.

As a result, filters seem so much like snake oil.

--
BMO

Re:Missing details (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699656)

It's usually a matter of poor management when these things happen. There are malware programs popping up all the time that aren't detectable, but those tend not to remain undetectable for years.

Firewall from the inside. Erase after. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699952)

From TFA you quoted:

Technicians set it up to block pornography sites, which are notorious for transmitting computer viruses.

So you KNOW that you'll be going to sites KNOWN for "viruses".

Wouldn't you limit that kind of access to only a segment of the machines AND firewall them from the other machines so they cannot infect everyone AND erase the drives on a regular basis?

And, just for fun, give the computer science people access to the drive contents to that they can use the viruses found as examples in their classes. Under similar, controlled, conditions.

Re:Firewall from the inside. Erase after. (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38701286)

No, I'd suggest loading a VM for surfing questionable sites, and nuking it after you're done.

Re:Missing details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38701382)

A good example is reddit. You can chuck that website into the "pornography pile" because if you want to, you can find a pair of tits, or a dick or vulva or whatever. Pretty easily actually. Its companion website imgur, should also be chucked in.

You can also find out the latest news in a shit ton obscure subjects via the subreddits but oh, well. They should really clean up that pornography problem if they want to get whitelisted. I know, SRS is trying.

If you then realize that most of these companies putting together the list are offended by everything. Atheism, socialism, unions, art galleries, alternative religions, more accurate depictions of American History. You see where we're going with this. You can't learn anything from "their" web, so it's mostly useless for research.

Re:Missing details (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38702018)

I don't know WTF porn sites you guys are visiting, but there are PLENTY of them out there that have no popups, no viruses, and fewer ads than MSNBC. Serioiusly. Porn sites with viruses are NOT porn sites. They are VIRUS sites that use porn to attract virus clickers. Did you learn nothing from Anna Kournikova?

Re:Missing details (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38702400)

Damn good point. I've never caught a virus from a porn site in 20+ years.

In fact, they've only fired the anti-virus on REGULAR sites that had drive-by malware ad-banners hosted by GOOGLE of all places!

Re:Missing details (3, Funny)

Corbets (169101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704432)

Damn good point. I've never caught a virus from a porn site in 20+ years.

In fact, they've only fired the anti-virus on REGULAR sites that had drive-by malware ad-banners hosted by GOOGLE of all places!

In fact, porn has probably helped me not catch many a virus from the local gentleman's establishment...

Re:Missing details (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704492)

And porn sites are blocked by many filters, therefore reducing the potential targets for a malware spreader...

Web distributed malware these days tends to come from legit sites, or legit banner hosts etc that have been hacked... When you have thousands of infected workstations running keyloggers it's not hard to capture a webmaster logging in to his site and then you can follow him in and add your malicious code to his genuine site.

Re:Missing details (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38711724)

Did you learn nothing from Anna Kournikova?

Yes, that appearance trumps talent nowadays.

Try blocking breast cancer research as breast (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38702112)

In a school / research area porn blocker just end block stuff like breast cancer research and other stuff Even more so in a med lab.

Since 1999? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699336)

Article says they've had viruses lurking since 1999. What kind of network could possibly contain equipment that old? Also, not exactly a detailed story we've got there.

Re:Since 1999? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699484)

Article says they've had viruses lurking since 1999. What kind of network could possibly contain equipment that old?

Oooh, I know the answer to that one...one I used to work in/on has.
Unfortunately I can't tell you exactly which one, but, hint, one of the top ten universities in the world has at least one server that old, and, is still running the same OS and versions of software it did when I left there over a decade ago.
(and, before you ask 'if you left over a decade ago, how do you know what OS etc its running?' simple, it still occasionally spits out a report of its config to one of my email accounts)

Re:Since 1999? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38705918)

it still occasionally spits out a report of its config to one of my email accounts

And that email account is in Russia? ;)

Re:Since 1999? (4, Insightful)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699516)

A network that is heavily used by a chronically underfunded institution -- that's what kind.

Re:Since 1999? (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699852)

Why yes, it must be the under-funding. It couldn't be anything from clueless IT, clueless administrators, or bean-counters with too much power over the IT department.

Re:Since 1999? (1)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700018)

All those things could have contributed to a security oversight. But I was answering the question of why the network would have ten-year-old equipment. CCSF has had several rounds of layoffs and course cancellations, and has had to completely drop summer courses. So under those conditions, old equipment may stick around for a while.

Re:Since 1999? (1)

shiftless (410350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38701908)

Do you have evidence of those assertions? Just what is it about the fact "a computer from 1999 is still running somewhere" automatically implies cluelessness? Hell, there's still computers out there from the *1950s* still running...are their operators clueless too?

Re:Since 1999? (1)

midtowng (2541986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38702322)

I never worked there, but I was a student there, so I have some insight. CCSF was like a lot of old educational institutions - departments have their own domains. Thus, some departments might have had good IT support, and some probably had almost none. What is likely is that the main computer labs are fine, but the small, less-used computer labs are the ones with the problems.

Re:Since 1999? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704012)

That's an "old" educational system? What's a "new" educational system? What you describe seems fairly common to me (regardless of the size of the school or its age, as I've seen both in hundred+ year institutions with under 2,000 students as well as in modern for-profit educational organizations with tens of thousands (and everything in between). I know that many, many universities still do this.

Re:Since 1999? (1)

theArtificial (613980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38707086)

Guess that's why more are retiring with 6 figure salaries, six-figure pensions soar for California school administrators [sacbee.com] .

Re:Since 1999? (1)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38707570)

I was talking about layoffs of instructors and support staff such as counselors, not about the retirement of administrators.

Re:Since 1999? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38703996)

Virtualization may do that. Someone virtualizes an old machine with malware, and voila, there you go. You've just perpetuated the problem indefinitely.

If they're using, say, Symantec products, it's really not difficult to see this problem being perpetuated, is it? Something from 1999 may not have had AV on it originally, but they realized later down the line it was necessary but thought it too old to be problematic... voila, instant perpetual malware vector.

I recently found a machine which had malware on it for almost 2 years, and nobody had noticed. It had been used by a member of the IT staff. How didn't they notice? It's hard to say. It had AV on it. Modern tools couldn't detect the malware, but network logs very clearly indicated it was the machine at fault.

Not surprising (3, Funny)

Niris (1443675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699342)

From what I've seen community college IT Tends to be pretty horrible. One of them out here had a server password of "password" and remoting on. Others tend to use a generic password on everything such as Mascot1 or gomascot1

Re:Not surprising (1)

jampola (1994582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699382)

Ooooo, thanks for the tip!

Re:Not surprising (2, Informative)

FFOMelchior (979131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699750)

From what I've seen community college IT Tends to be pretty horrible. One of them out here had a server password of "password" and remoting on. Others tend to use a generic password on everything such as Mascot1 or gomascot1

IT Dunce A: Crap! Someone out there knows our password "gomascot1"!
IT Dunce B: No worries, I'll go ahead and change it to "gotigers1".
IT Dunce A: Phew!

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38704120)

No kidding, we have two IT departments.

1. The college IT dept. It sucks. In fact when I first started there it was really terrible, but the student access site, while crude, worked. The new one is something called the Banner system, which they paid out the ass for. Thanks to that horrible garbage system that they paid 3 million dollars for, they have to run outdated, insecure software, including an ancient 2003 domain controller to handle the users. (the system creates windows users) they are working on a 2008 compatible version that is expected to be in testing phases sometime this year, unfortunately, the upgrade will cost about $1.5 million, or some absurd number like that. Most of their hardware is older than 6 years. They have the money to do the upgrades, they just had to blow it on this banner system. They also have some of the best gaming rigs in the school. Oh I'm sorry, workstations.

2. The Business Division IT department: The business division at our junior college might as well be its own college. It's almost completely autonomous from the rest of the school. They generate their own money, they have their own network, their own direct trunk to the internet, and their own set of servers which are insanely impressive. they even have a few 20TB SANs. This makes the college IT department jealous. They administer this all on all the cast away equipment from the school's IT department that they frankensteined together as they dont need new workstations to use SSH or RDP, or a serial connection. (in fact it's easier on older HW to do serial, some usb adapters actually do work these days though, I have one from monoprice that works great with my netbook)

Now the tragedy is, the school IT department is trying to force the business division to downgrade those servers to 2003, remove any unix/linux installs as they dont understand them, and merge them into the school's main network, and put all that expensive equipment into the trailer the IT department operates out of with unreliable A/C, aaand a limited data pipe (which is why the internal servers outside of the business division run like shit) that is worse on rainy days thanks to a microwave link.

Wanna know the reason? Because all those expensive machines look so cool and would look cooler in THEIR racks.

They're fighting but losing due to politics. I only know all this because one of my classmates works the business division IT department.

Another fun fact is that my junior college would not have ANY computer classes beyond how to use microsoft office if it werent for the business division. The school is managed by luddites who hate technology and anything that is considered "techy" and nerdy. Though it's the IT classes that help draw people to that school. It's one of the best schools I've seen that has real hands on experience, classes that offer on-site experience (local schools and nonprofits) and the professors are into IT still.

In the end, it's the business division that has the IT muscle and might.

opps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699360)

10 years and not one single person in the entire IT department noticed? Uh why not? And how much money and info have these thieves gotten away with? Not sure about anyone else but if I had been or am currently a student there I would really be worried about what info the scammer's had/have. I'm gonna go with, this is just a little bit scary. And what do they mean they MIGHT need to bring in the FBI? At this point that is pretty much a given. Well I wish all of those whose info went south, good luck.

Same IT full of clueless managersthat terry childs (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38702144)

clueless managers and some time even techs I thing that terry child's even saw some install viruses on the severs maybe even the same ones.

It's good that he did not give up the password over speaker phone in a room full on managers no telling how much they would of F* stuff up.

Re:Same IT full of clueless managersthat terry chi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38711716)

You are barely literate.

Semi related drunk opinion here (1)

jampola (1994582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699378)

But enforcing laws on bad security should reign supreme on the likes of SOPA and friends.

Re:Semi related drunk opinion here (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699450)

Why, when we can just send the cops to go after the evil hackers?

CS Dept (3, Interesting)

Mannfred (2543170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699388)

FTA: "It's likely that personal computers belonging to anyone who used a flash drive during the past decade to carry information home were also affected." The college has a CS department providing courses for "seasoned IT professionals" (as per ccsf.edu) and nobody notices viruses on their flash drives (etc) over the past 10 years? Unlikely.

Re:CS Dept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699442)

I bet the CS dept used Linux instead of Windows....

So naturally nobody noticed any.

Re:CS Dept (2)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699574)

It depends upon which classes you take, of course. CCSF has a couple of smaller labs used by CS and CNIT students. The big computer labs seemed to be used primarily by students watching movies, secondarily by students writing essays or doing other sorts of homework.

I have to admit that one time, after using a flash drive on a Windows PC in the main computer lab at CCSF, and later using that flash drive on a Linux box, I noticed there was some sort of malware on my flash drive that would autoexecute on a Windows system. I wiped my flash drive, and I think I told one of the attendants at the lab about it, but I can't remember if I did. At the time, I thought of it as just an inevitable, but trivial, annoyance from using a busy shared computer lab with Windows PCs.

Re:CS Dept (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704022)

Judging by the intellectual capacity and knowledge of their CS/IT graduates, not fucking likely. I'm surprised they're able to remain accredited.

Re:CS Dept (3, Interesting)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38703224)

The college has a CS department providing courses for "seasoned IT professionals" (as per ccsf.edu) and nobody notices viruses on their flash drives (etc) over the past 10 years? Unlikely.

I don't think we're talking about the era of Stoned on a boot sector anymore. If this is a decade of organised crime, it's going to be a bit more sophisticated.

You might want to check out Stuxnet [wikipedia.org] before you presume any amount of caution or aptitude can so easily subvert a sufficiently developed worm. Whatever someone might think about how people "over there" do things, I feel it's a safe assumption that the professionals working at a middle-east nuclear plant would also be qualified to work at a San Francisco college.

Re:CS Dept (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704416)

...

I don't think we're talking about the era of Stoned on a boot sector anymore. ...

oh the memories, my first infection. At the time, i was stoned, and my computer booted up and told me it was stoned, and I was like, sweet, dude...

Then i realized something wasn't right, and proceeded to infect a few more disks.

Good times!

Also, I'm am currently stoned right now. =)

Re:CS Dept (1)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38716370)

Good times indeed! Where would we be without our Vitamin M? :-)

Not the first time (1)

fwarren (579763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699426)

This is not the first time this has happened. It is just the first time we have heard about a virus being in place for a decade and not being detected.

I am sure there are more colleges and government agencies that are compromised like this.

As an added bonus. This is why you should post AC when posting from College.

Blame the foreigners (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699458)

Who, other than me, thinks that this would be a non-story if it weren't able to be blamed on THOSE EVIL FOREIGNERS. This story would be buried otherwise.

Correction (3, Insightful)

dtmos (447842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699504)

when the college's data security monitoring service finally detected an unusual pattern of computer traffic. . .

FTFY.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700308)

Well, I wouldn't call it 'unusual' after a decade ... ;-)

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38705436)

when the college's data security monitoring service finally detected an unusual pattern of computer traffic. . .

FTFY.

What the fuck is FTFY? I know an inability to type whole words is hip and all, but it's getting stupid.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38706080)

What the fuck is FTFY? I know the desire to not type whole words is hip and all, but it's getting stupid.

FTFY :)

Marco (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699550)

Marco. Paging Marco Polo. You need to go settle your debt with that China character. That is not Uncle Sam's debt. Marco. You were supposed to settle all of that a long time ago.

Amerigo. Amerigo Vespucci. You're in debt. Your hip is dropping into the well. You need to go wrestle on that hill like Jacob did.

"Eh. No way. Tell Colombus to get in the box and he'll cough one up when he gets back."

Amerigo von Spratt (could eat no lean) wanted his name on something--he got two big ones. The really rich say that Chris was the lucky one because he put his name on the small country.

plus 4, Tr0fll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699610)

fear thE reaper [goat.cx]

Kombet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699704)

hi, this is a great posting about this virus, i never know this virus before..
Century 21 Broker Properti Jual Beli Sewa Rumah Indonesia [blogspot.com]

Okay... (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699722)

So, exactly what viruses were installed on these machines? Were they internet common, or something more targeted?

Is this simply a failure to install some decent anti-virus software, or something more involved?

Viruses spreading like wildfire on campuses? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699798)

YOU DON'T SAY! [kym-cdn.com]

P.S.: SLASHDOT, Y U NO ALLOW PICTURES??

(Or yelling. Lorem ipsum this text is dum cuz eet kant spel.)

What's right is... (0)

fruitbane (454488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699886)

What's right is to rely on the US justice system, which requires that there be evidence of criminal activity prior to most searches and seizures. Further, judges need to be involved in adjudicating what constitutes probable cause. That is the way forward. Technology brings new challenges to law enforcement, but it also provides new tools. It is, as always, the job of the legal community to keep learning and stay abreast of technology, same as it is for everyone else. And when corporations or individuals want to pursue charges of copyright infringement, they must do so relying on the proper judicial structures as established. Copyright infringement is not some special crime which somehow doesn't require proper due process.

Re:What's right is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700538)

fail

Re:What's right is... (1)

fruitbane (454488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38701528)

Yes, that is exactly what the government is doing right now in regards to proper due process.

Re:What's right is... (1)

fruitbane (454488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38704428)

WTF? How did my comment get appended to this topic? I thought I attached it to a different one. Sorry, folks.

Don't trust the ivy league campus networks either! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700626)

I think that every university network is completely compromised, including the major ivy league and top tier tech universities too. To see for yourselves how bad the problem is, just type the following searches into Google:

buy viagra cialis site:stanford.edu
buy viagra cialis site:harvard.edu
buy viagra cialis site:yale.edu
buy viagra cialis site:princeton.edu
buy viagra cialis site:columbia.edu
buy viagra cialis site:caltech.edu
buy viagra cialis site:mit.edu

Can anyone from these institutions' IT departments explain how they can process students' personal information on networks that have obviously been hacked and are hosting such criminal content? Don't the IT people scan the files on their servers once in a while and see this? Don't they ever check their access logs and see that people are being referred to their servers from google looking to buy drugs?

Are the IT people totally incompetent or are they putting up these sites themselves to earn a little extra money?

Where are the university presidents and the boards of governors? Why are they allowing their networks to be used for this?

Re:Don't trust the ivy league campus networks eith (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38701170)

Hilarious. carmenwiki FTW ;)

CS Degrees @ UCSF = NO JOBS FOR BS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700676)

What does this say about your CS degree @ UCSF?

JOb Interview...

me: So what college did you go to learn computers?

applicant: UCSF

me: did you notice anything while you attended there?

applicant: nope not a thing, it was a wonderful place, I had a great time and got an A+

me: I'm sorry, this job is important, I don't think you are right for this company.

I see corruption and failure in damn near everything now, Federal, State, Local.

Re:CS Degrees @ UCSF = NO JOBS FOR BS! (2)

NivenHuH (579871) | more than 2 years ago | (#38701540)

UCSF doesn't even teach computer science; UCSF is a medical school.

The article is about CCSF (a community college).

university CS = high level theory tech school = IT (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38702354)

And there is a lot that is can be / is best learned on the job.

A 4 year CS is to long and is missing alot stuff that you can learn in a 2 year tech school.

But I say you take the 2 year tech school and make it in a rage from 1.5-3 year mixed class room / apprenticeship / on the job training. also have DROP IN on going education as part of it.

in IT there is the book / cert test setups and the real world filled old software / lots different 3rd party vender / software setups / hack jobs and so on that you can only get a feel for by doing the real work. Also DROP IN on going education is some there a tech school can do where a university is a very poor setup for.

Also the university has lot's of filler and fluff classes that in the same time can be better filled in tech class out side of your core area. Let's say need to fill a class

out side of your core IT area what is better tech school visual basic or a university art history? also a tech school can have hobby / not full time classes as some
filler / out side of the main core area stuff. Where a university can take stuff like Underwater Basket Weaving and find a way to make in to full time class.

Windows viruses (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38701676)

It DOESN'T go without saying, except here.

Relentlessly remind people that viruses are largely a consequence of running a "virus farm" OS.

Re:Windows viruses (1)

midtowng (2541986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38702356)

CCSF is only partly Windows. The old, established part of the computer system is HPUX and Linux.

Re:Windows viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38703808)

And yet, it was the Windows portion that was cracked. On the HPUX and Linux, they had the passwords to come onto the system. So, it does absolutely NO good to have a SECURED server, if idiots are going to run Windows and give out their passwords. At this time, I would LOVE to see multiple lawyers sue them for this theft. Then and only then, will admin realize the real costs of windows.

Re:Windows viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38704720)

Hardly any Linux program can function for 10 years straight without recompiling especially viruses.

The Only Real Way (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38706054)

is to write a check, stuff it in an envelope, and drop it into the US Mail to pay your bills. Offline. Making withdrawals means drive to the bank, use your passbook, withdraw cash. If there's any computer viruses involved in those, it won't be YOUR fault and should be protected by FDIC insurance. Hopefully.

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