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May 8, 2017 | by  | in News |
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VUW internet breached, password changes recommended

An internet security breach has led VUW to urge students to change their login details and personal passwords.

An email alerting students to the incident was sent to all active students on the morning of May 1, with the subject line, “Important Security Notice”.

In the email, VUW’s ITS Director Stuart Haselden said that the university has become aware of a case of unauthorised access being made to the university’s IT systems.

“It is possible that usernames and passwords may have been compromised.”

VUW told Salient that it had “been in touch with students, staff, and some former students” after discovering the incident, and has been working with the National Cyber Security Centre and security consultants to analyse the incident, including New Zealand’s Computer Emergency Response Team, and CyberToa, a support company for organisations that manage sensitive personal data.

VUW said it had performed “a number of actions” to minimise risk from the breach, but did not specify what these actions were. VUW is also asking students, staff, and some former students to change their passwords as a “precautionary measure.”

VUW told Salient they had not yet detected any nefarious use of usernames or passwords. They nevertheless recommended students change their VUW passwords and passwords for social media or online shopping websites if the same passwords had been used.

The email recommended students use “long, strong passwords and unique passwords for each site,” providing instructions on how to find advice on the subject on the website of government agency Netsafe.

Students can gain additional information by contacting its-service@vuw.ac.nz.

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