Network Security Fails at Harvard

Network security breach by activist pinpointed and previously blocked.

By Enterprise Networking Planet Staff | Posted Jul 29, 2011
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Storefront Backtalk reports that a Harvard University activist was recently indicted after walking into an unguarded basement on the MIT campus, connecting a laptop and spending the next two months illegally downloading millions of documents from a university archive.

Network security failed when the activist connected a laptop to a switch in a network wiring closet. The man claimed he was liberating millions of documents in an MIT archive of academic journals called JSTOR, and although MIT’s network security team had spotted and blocked his access a month before, once he connected directly to the switch, he was attacking from an unexpected direction and network security didn’t notice for months.


"’This time he attempted to evade identification at the entrance to the restricted area. As Swartz entered the wiring closet, he held his bicycle helmet like a mask to shield his face, looking through ventilation holes in the helmet. Swartz then removed his computer equipment from the closet, put it in his backpack and left, again masking his face with the bicycle helmet before peering through a crack in the double doors and cautiously stepping out.” That afternoon, MIT police spotted and caught him.”

Read the Full Story at Storefront Backtalk

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