Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, October 4, 2012

No U-M sensitive data accessed in GhostShell hacking attempt

A highly publicized computer hacking effort designed to embarrass universities across the United States fell flat at U-M this week.


For additional information on computer security, visit the Safe Computing website.

A hacker collective known as Team GhostShell announced it had accessed names, passwords and email addresses at 100 universities. However, at U-M no passwords or other sensitive data were accessed, says Paul Howell, chief IT security officer.

As is the case with any big organization with a strong online presence, U-M routinely turns back hacking attempts, Howell says. In this case, the information accessed on three different servers was all information that generally is available to the public.

GhostShell says it launched the hacking effort as a way 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."

The security of digital information is a high priority for the university, Howell explains. "We take great care to make sure that all sensitive information is protected from attempts like this one. We are constantly reviewing our security measures."