Harvard Site Hacked, Posted to BitTorrent

Site is brought down, sensitive data posted on Web

Tim Wilson, Editor in Chief, Dark Reading, Contributor

February 19, 2008

1 Min Read

The Website of Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was brought down yesterday, and its backup server file has been posted to BitTorrent.

A compressed 125 Mbyte file that purports to be the database for the Website of Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is still available via the BitTorrent peer to peer network. "Stupid people, you don't use a secure password," says a note preceding the posting. The file is also listed on The Pirate Bay, according to a report.

A note attached to the torrent claimed the file contained a backup of the site -- including some contacts files and other files associated with Joomla, an open-source content management system. Experts said the files appear to be legitimate.

The hacker claims the stunt is intended to demonstrate the insecurity of Harvard's server. The writer also exposed what purport to be user names and passwords belonging to two of the site's system administrators.

Harvard has not commented publicly on the hack.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

About the Author(s)

Tim Wilson, Editor in Chief, Dark Reading


Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one of the top cyber security journalists in the US in voting among his peers, conducted by the SANS Institute. In 2011 he was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Voices in Security by SYS-CON Media.

Keep up with the latest cybersecurity threats, newly discovered vulnerabilities, data breach information, and emerging trends. Delivered daily or weekly right to your email inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights