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Thursday, April 18, 2024

UF is among more than 100 U.S. and international universities that had records and account information leaked Monday by an anonymous group of computer hackers called Team GhostShell.

Hundreds of thousands of email addresses, passwords, IDs and names of students and faculty members from schools including Harvard University and Princeton University were taken as a part of #ProjectWestWind.

Hackers bypassed at least one level of security in two UF systems, UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said. The College of Medicine and the Contracts and Grants Department were affected.

At this time, UF is unsure what data was shared, she said.

“We blocked access to the affected system, and we began a forensic investigation,” Sikes said. “That forensic investigation will help us find what type of info may have been accessed and when it was accessed.”

Team GhostShell’s leader, “DeadMellox,” shared links to multiple mirrors for each college’s information on the text-storing website www.pastebin.com.

“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,” Team GhostShell wrote in a statement Monday.

Clayton Pawlak, a 20-year-old biology junior, said he was in disbelief that UF’s security had been breached.

“With the technology we have, they shouldn’t be able to do that,” he said.

Contact Michael Davidson at mdavidson@alligator.org.

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