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The following is the statement of Mississippi State University Director of

University Relations Sid Salter:

Mississippi State University was the target of a cyber-attack on one of

the university’s servers, but a preliminary investigation indicates that

no secure data was lost in the incident.


At approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday (Jan. 9), the website Hack Read News

posted that information related to 535 Mississippi State University

individuals had been compromised by a hacker. A Brazilian hacker claimed

credit for the incident.


> MSU President Mark Keenum was advised of the incident and directed MSU’s

> chief information officer to launch an investigation into the claim and

> make a subsequent impact assessment.


MSU Chief Information Officer Mike Rackley said that a preliminary

university investigation revealed that no data of a secure nature ��”

Social Security numbers, credit card information, health information or

grades was compromised. Rackley said most of the information

obtained by the hacker is available from existing public domain print or

digital university directories.


“This represents only one of hundreds of servers in the MSU system,” said

Rackley. “In response to incidents like this one and the increasing number

of Internet-enabled computer attacks, Mississippi State continually

modifies its systems and practices to enhance the security of sensitive



As a precaution, MSU’s Information Technology Services is notifying and

working with the users who may be affected to have them change their

account passwords.


“Cyber-crimes and ‘hacking’ plague Fortune 500 companies, the federal

government, and unfortunately is a reality in higher education as well,”

said Keenum. “We’re very sensitive to the concerns such attacks generate,

but at this point we believe that the secure data of these individuals

remains safe.”


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