SUNet ID holders advised to change passwords following IT breach

July 24, 2013, 9:10 p.m.

All SUNet ID holders have been advised to change their account passwords as a result of “an apparent breach” in Stanford’s information technology infrastructure, according to an email sent to the Stanford community on Wednesday evening.

In the email, Vice President for Business Affairs Randy Livingston wrote that the breach had taken a similar form to other recent online intrusions against American companies and universities.

“In recent months, a range of large organizations have reported attacks involving their information systems,” Livingston wrote. “Preliminary indications are that the breach at Stanford bears many similarities to these incidents.”

Livingston framed the advice to change account passwords as solely a “precautionary measure,” adding that the University is not currently aware of any personal health or financial information being compromised in the incident.

“We do not yet know the scope of the intrusion, but we are working closely with information security consultants and law enforcement to determine its source and impact,” Livingston wrote.

In the email, Livingston also drew attention to the relative scarcity of such incidents despite ongoing efforts to compromise University systems.

“Stanford treats information security with the utmost seriousness and is continually upgrading its defenses against cyberattacks,” Livingston wrote. “Like many institutions, it repels millions of attempted attacks on its information systems each day.”

This post will be updated.

Marshall Watkins is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily, having previously worked as the paper's executive editor and as the managing editor of news. Marshall is a junior from London majoring in Economics, and can be reached at mtwatkins "at" stanford "dot" edu.

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