Anonymous hackers have allegedly targeted America’s top 100 universities.
The attack, called Project WestWind, was carried out by an Anonymous-affiliated group known as Team GhostShell, and resulted in the release of more than 120,000 records from schools including Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, the University of Michigan, and Texas A&M. The leaked data contained usernames and passwords to the schools’ networks, according to details posted on Pastebin.
Unlike other hacks this summer against Wall Street, the CIA, and the Chinese government, Project WestWind was not intended to do damage. Instead, it was meant to show the universities how vulnerable their systems are to attack and to address growing problems in the U.S. education system, Team GhostShell wrote.
“We have set out to raise awareness towards the changes made in today's education, how new laws imposed by politicians affect us, our economy and overall, our way of life,” the hackers added on Pastebin. “How far we have ventured from learning valuable skills that would normally help us be prepared in life, to just, simply memorizing large chunks of text in exchange for good grades.”
Team GhostShell specifically criticized the tuition fee hikes around the country that have saddled millions of students with debt. In March, combined student debt around the U.S. passed $1 trillion, exceeding credit card and auto loan debt, Bloomberg reported.
In early June, the hacktivists took responsibility for allegedly stealing 800,000 Chinese government records in an operation called #ProjectDragonFly. Team GhostShell also partnered with hacker groups MidasBank and OphiusLab to hack at least 30,000 CIA and Wall Street accounts in August, in a operation known as Project HellFire.