Student hacks into campus networks

Kaitlin Adams

An unidentified student hacked into the campus network Thursday, sending pop-up messages to dozens of college computer users.

The hacker used the computers in the Equal Opportunities Programs and Services lab to send messages, which one campus official describes as “crude” to dozens of machines linked to the campus network.

“It was very junior-high like behavior happening at the community college level,” said Kent Richards, director of information technologies, networks and telecommunications.

The hacker sent messages described to be “grey window pop-up text message boxes,” and unhappy callers notified the Information Resources Department helpdesk. Officials then immediately used network tools to locate the message sender.

Rumors spread that the messages included foul-language and semi-threatening content regarding the events of Sept. 11. However, Ben Partee, assistant dean of educational programs, confirmed this was not the case.

Dan Watkins, educational applications administrator, confirmed the hacker did not harm the network, but considered this a “trivial” stunt designed to disrupt the college.

Officials said the hacker was in direct violation of the standards of student conduct.

When students violate the code of student conduct the consequences range from a warning to expulsion. The disciplinary decision for the hacker is yet been determined. Because the case is still under investigation, Partee said no personal information may be revealed about the hacker.

Students who use the EOPS computers are required to be members of the program, although it was not confirmed if the hacker was associated with EOPS.

Marsha Wright, EOPS coordinator, and responsible for the program, was off campus during the time the hacker sent messages through the campus network.

“This wasted a lot of peoples’ time,” said Richards. “It is our purpose to provide the best education possible and this kept us from doing so,” he said.

“We take this very seriously, but every so often an act like this slips through,” said Watkins.

Partee said the college hopes to have this case resolved by the end