McMaster University was one of the 100 schools hacked in protest of the current state of education and the latest in “ProjectWestWind.”
McMaster reported security breaches in servers at the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research, the Origins Institute, The Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
According to the McMaster's student paper, The Silhouette, the information taken was leaked to a large number of publicy accessible large scale “data dumps” online.
A news bulletin from McMaster's office of public relations said the majority of files accessed “contained information that is older and, in most cases, publicly available.”
The release said that no credit card information, user names or passwords were disclosed, but some very limited disclosure of information such as degree dates were accessed.
McMaster's University Technology Services is conducting a forensic review of the data and is looking into preventative protocols to reduce a repeat of events such as this.
Allegedly, the “hacktivists” associated with the “Anonymous” group of hackers are responsible for accessing more than 120, 000 computer accounts from a variety of universities from Tokyo to Melbourne and Zurich.
A New York City computer security company, Identity Finder.com, said in a release that it could only confirm around 40,000 accounts exposed.
In an online post, Team GhostShell said: “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, our way of life. How far we have ventured from learning valuable skills that would normally help us be prepared in life, to just, simply memorizing large chunks of text in exchange for good grades. How our very own traditions are heard less and less, losing touch with who we truly are. Slowly casting the identities, that our ancestors fought to protect, into exile. - TGS. ”
Other hacked universities include John Hopkins, Cambridge, Harvard and Princeton University. The group is also responsible for hacking in August called “Project Hellfire” which involved breaches to Wall Street, banks and accounts of political advisors.