Purdue University students asked to change passwords after second incident in past two years

Incident Date: October 18 2004
Incident Location: West Lafayette IN USA

Purdue University was urging students and staff to change their passwords after an attacker gained access to at least some of their passwords. An investigative team at Purdue discovered on October 18, 2004 that approximately 100 passwords, from numerous servers, may have been collected by the attacker.

An attacker with an authorized userís password might be able to read their email, log into a Purdue system named SSINFO as the user, and potentially steal the personís Purdue identity. However, security personnel at Purdue reported that there is no evidence that these activities are occurring. The Purdue police department was notified of the incident.

One week after the notice only 38% of Purdue students have changed their passwords. In contrast, two-thirds of faculty and staff have changed their passwords since the breach.

Purdue faced a similar incident in March of 2002 when 65,000 unencrypted passwords for "student services information" were exposed. The university was never able to determine what access attackers had to data or services during that breach.


Story Sources

Title: ITaP encourages campuswide password change after security breach
Author: Sarah Krisel
Date: 10/22/2004
Publication: The Exponent
Publication Location: West Lafayette IN USA
Publication URL: http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2004/10/22§ion=campus&storyid=password158

Title: Purdue computer users urged to change passwords
Author: Steve Tally
Date: 10/21/2004
Publication: Purdue University News
Publication Location: West Lafayette IN USA
Publication URL: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html3month/2004/041021.Bottum.itap.html

Title: Students must change passwords
Author: Sarah Krisel
Date: 10/27/2004
Publication: The Exponent Online
Publication Location: West Lafayette IN USA
Publication URL: http://www.purdueexponent.org/interface/bebop/showstory.php?date=2004/10/27§ion=campus&storyid=password


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