Archive for the ‘universities’ Category.

Tor onion router: social good or anti-social practice?

At Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology:

Earlier this week, a hacker infiltrated the website of a company in France, defacing the site and using it to send vulgar emails. The hacker was not a Rose-Hulman student. But through a router maintained by a Rose-Hulman student, the hacker was able to do this anonymously.

The student, senior computer science major David Yip, was maintaining a router on his computer called a Tor onion router.

There are many ways to describe this activity: exercise of freedom, negligence, lack of due diligence, accomplice or accessory to crime. Is it a social contribution or an anti-social practice? Drawing the lines is very difficult (as legislators trying to ban open access points will discover).
One example of how universities do tend to have a stricter social compact than, say, ISPs.

[via Justin Mason]

George Mason University ID system cracked

As a former university information security officer I take particular interest in these things (this could be you):
Hacker compromises data at George Mason University – Computerworld:

The names, photos and Social Security numbers of more than 32,000 students and staff at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., have been compromised as the result of a hacker attack against the university’s main ID server.
The attack was discovered during a routine review of system files and prompted the school to disconnect the compromised server from the network, according to an e-mail sent to members of the university community yesterday by Joy Hughes, the school’s vice president for information technology.

Spam introspection

Georgetown University sends spam and faces the wrath of one of its own students.

I’m also getting a little tired of “call for paper” spam sent by otherwise-legitimate conference organizers to lists of web-harvested email addresses. My most frequent offenders will remain nameless for now, but only because I’m busy.

Just because you’re not a fraudulent criminal enterprise doesn’t mean you’re not a spammer.
It would not be a bad thing if everyone started worrying about CAN-SPAM being enforced against them.

SDSU and UCSD security incidents

  • San Diego State University, February 2004:

    While investigating a computer server sending spam e-mail messages, the Information Technology Security Office at San Diego State University discovered computer intruders had circumvented departmental server security and gained illegal access to a file server in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

    We recognize that identity theft has become one of the fastest growing
    crimes in the nation and SDSU is making every effort to ensure that Social
    Security information is not unnecessarily exposed. In late March, the
    University will implement an alternative ID system using a new nine-digit ID
    number called
    "Red ID".

    [via [Interesting-People] Bad year for San Diego Universities so far]

  • University of California, San Diego, May 2004:

    The University of California, San Diego is notifying past and present students, applicants, and some staff and faculty that unauthorized intruders have broken into four computers in the UCSD Business & Financial Services Department, computers which housed approximately 380,000 records of personal data including names, social security numbers, and drivers license numbers.

    [via [Interesting-People] UCSD Computer Security Incident Alert]

UIUC Siebel Center for Computer Science

Nice building
for the UIUC CS Department.

[via Slashdot]

University data leaks

wireless at University of Tennessee

Network Computing:
University of Tennessee Implements 802.11i (and MAC registration to support legacy machines).
Wi-Fi Networking News]

UB buys IBM BladeCenter

Keeping track of my colleagues down the street:
ClusterWorld | University at Buffalo Adds IBM Blades:

The new supercomputer, capable of a peak performance of more than 1.32 TeraFlops, will consist of a cluster of 266 IBM eServer� BladeCenter� HS20 systems running Red Hat Advance Server 2.1 Linux, each with two 2.8 GHz Intel Xeon processors and 1.0 GB of memory. Seven IBM xSeries 345 Intel processor-based servers connect to 5 terabytes (TB) of IBM FAStT700 Storage to house large volumes of biological and research data. The supercomputer forms the basis of the IBM eServer Cluster 1350, a pre-packaged and tested supercluster that is ultra-dense and incredibly easy to manage.

UMich slows WiFi deployment

Empirical Analysis of Internet Filtering in China

This might be affecting the University of Rochester (I’m looking into it):
Trouble with Chinese applicants/customers reaching your web site?
Maybe your DNS server is blocked.

See the excellent summary of the situation from Zittrain and Edelman:
Empirical Analysis of Internet Filtering in China.

Caltech, Columbia, MIT, and U.Virginia are known victims. NorthWestern U
is also affected.

Did this problem increase in November?
See notes in interesting-people

Interestingly, as of today, only one (Columbia) of the five .edu zones listed above has off-site secondary DNS servers.