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3rd February 2014

University hacked for MoD links

Queen Mary has been accused of collaborating ‘with government security services’ to ‘monitor civilians’
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International hacking group “Anonymous” attacked Queen Mary University of London.

Data stolen in ‘Operation PhDPounds’ included students’ personal details and IP and MAC addresses of a large part of the university network.

The hack was launched on 19th January after it was revealed that the Ministry of Defence was funding postgraduate research into online behaviours at a number of universities.

Six figure sums were given to Queen Mary by the MoD for research into ‘cross-cultural attitudes and the shaping of online behaviour in crisis situations’ and ‘analysing and influencing crowd behaviours through arrays of ad-hoc mobile sensors’.

Other universities receiving PhD funding in similar areas from the MoD include Exeter, Glasgow, Southampton, University College London and Kings College London.

Kings College London is researching ‘the rise of digital insurgency’, directly targeting Anonymous.

In a statement, Anonymous said that they “rolled a dice” to decide which university to target.

Anonymous said: “We are of the opinion that when academic institutions begin accepting cash from the military to fund ways of finding methods to twist public opinion through the internet, or spy on Anonymous, they become legitimate targets”.

Anonymous has posted online “snippets” laying out the IP and MAC addresses  of “a very large chunk” of Queen Mary’s computer network.

They say this information could be used for a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which would make all computers connected to the internet inoperable, as well as malware and botnet planting and control.

Anonymous added: “If you collaborate with government security services in order to aid or abet in efforts to monitor civilians online, or in real life, or to spy on Anonymous or our brethren, you can expect us to take notice”.

Queen Mary University have informed the police and are investigating the claims.

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