RIT is trying to track down who hacked into its computer system Wednesday. It's an ironic situation for RIT, which has an entire program dedicated to teaching computer security.
The college says it was forced to pull the plug on its internet service after hackers got into the RIT system.During a 90 minute period hackers were grabbing data from school computers and then funnelling to an unknown location in Southeast Asia. The school says that no sensitive information was released and it is not connecting the incident to anyone on the Henrietta campus of the college. What's more, the school says four other colleges and universities around the world were also hacked into during the same time frame.
This incident is a teaching tool that could be used at the school itself. That's because RIT is home to the nation's leading school on computer security and anti-hacking. At just 21 years old, Jason Koppe has his future already programmed for him through a scholarship from the Department of Defense."So that covers all of my tuition and my books and travel expenses. And then when I'm done I go and work for the Department of Defense," says Koppe. Jason is an anti-hacking expert who'll one day be choosing the computer programs for our government to use in protecting the nation's information systems. He's currently a master's student in RIT's Networking Security System Adminstration program or NSSA.
Charles Border is the NSSA's graduate coordinator and says,"We really have reoriented our entire curriculum around the idea that not only do our students need to provide services on the network, but they also need to do that in a secure fashion."
Some of the toughest anti-hacker training actually happens right inside the classrooms where students are pitted against each other. One group has to create a system and the other group has to attack it. "People try to break the rules and you have to sort of sidestep how the system is supposed to function," says Border. And so far... major companies and banks across the nation are already scouting these future anti-hacking expert.
"So we're finding that companies are really bending over backwards to recruit our students and our students are doing very well in the marketplace." says Border.