During the late evening hours of Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005, West Chester University’s homepage (www.wcupa.edu) was defaced at the hands of vicious hackers, who implanted a computer virus on the page’s servers, causing unknown problems to those who visited the site before it was shut down.Shortly after university officials recognized the hacking, all of the school’s Web sites and features were disabled, causing inconveniences for faculty, staff and students, many of whom were due to schedule during the week starting Oct. 31. System administrators shut down the school’s homepage as well as the Blackboard Learning System; the Ram e-card’s deposit processing website; and webmail, WCU’s Outlook based e-mail system.
Internet on campus is controlled by two routers. The RESNET router controls the Internet in the residence halls. The other router controls the Internet in the academics and administration buildings, which include but are not limited to, Anderson Hall, FHG Library and Sykes Student Union.
Access to internet features, not including school services such as webmail and Blackboard, were restored to most RESNET linked computers on Saturday, Oct. 29. Also on Oct. 29, those same school services were restored to most academics buildings across campus.
On Thursday, Nov. 3, certain residence facilities were lacking access to school-run services, but approximately 85 percent of the campus had full internet access.
Public relations officials told The Quad that the FBI had requested them not to talk about the ongoing investigation and to refer all calls to their Philadelphia bureau office.
A spokeswoman at the FBI would not comment on the investigation but did confirm that the bureau was working in conjunction with WCU to solve the problem.
Rumors of identity theft circulated around campus; however, university officials nor the FBI could confirm any true cases.
The following message was posted on the West Chester University homepage on Friday, Nov. 4: “The University Resources have been restored. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.” Included under the message is a link that offers troubleshooting solutions and tips for students still experiencing problems.
As of print time, the RESNET and academics routers were functioning at full capacity and officials claim there are no known problems.