Crackers steal 52,000 university passwords

    Date18 Nov 2002
    CategoryHacks/Cracks
    5390
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    The University of Oslo had to change the passwords of 52,000 users and reinstall software on dozens of computers after crackers managed to infiltrate the network and extract the institution's central password file. The unknown computer vandals have had access to all of the usernames and passwords at the university for several weeks. In addition, the crackers (destructive computer experts, as opposed to hackers), have used university servers to store huge amounts of pirated software programs and films, VG Nett reports. . . . The University of Oslo had to change the passwords of 52,000 users and reinstall software on dozens of computers after crackers managed to infiltrate the network and extract the institution's central password file. The unknown computer vandals have had access to all of the usernames and passwords at the university for several weeks. In addition, the crackers (destructive computer experts, as opposed to hackers), have used university servers to store huge amounts of pirated software programs and films, VG Nett reports.

    "Hackers broke into the database which handles the information system for our switchboard. There they installed a password sniffer that located the password to someone in operations. With his password they accessed other machines and from there they pulled out the university's central password file," said Oslo University IT director Arne Laukholm.

    Laukholm said the university was not aware that an SQL-database automatically installs with a Windows 2000 server. This led to the switchboard database not being properly upgraded with security patches.

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