Date
20 November 2017
A hacking attack on the University of Hong Kong has exposed confidential information about certain staff members and 110 donors, according to officials. Photo: HKEJ
A hacking attack on the University of Hong Kong has exposed confidential information about certain staff members and 110 donors, according to officials. Photo: HKEJ

HKU donor files exposed in hacking attack

Dozens of staff and donors have had their private information exposed in a suspected hacking attack on the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

The information included names, addresses and amounts given by 110 donors, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday, citing university officials in a media statement released Tuesday.

It did not say when the attack took place.

The incident has been reported to the police and HKU has apologized to the affected parties, the report said.

On Tuesday, university officials said a suspicious link had been found on a website used for staff e-mail and for storing documents.  

The affected files have been removed from the site and moved to a secure server.

In October, Hong Kong media organizations received an e-mail from an anonymous sender claiming to be “a scholar who loves the university”.

It contained private information about the three founders of Occupy Central, the civil disobedience movement which played a key role in last year’s democracy protests.

Two of them — Benny Tai and Chu Yiu-ming — were shown to have made a donation to HKU.

Chu said he received an apology from the university saying it had been a victim of hacking.

HKU said it has taken steps to strengthen its security procedures.

However, Cheung Sing-wai, an engineering associate professor and chairman of the HKU academic staff association, said security breaches are hard to detect even under round-the-clock surveillance.

Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, who sits on the HKU board, said he is worried that hackers are becoming so sophisticated no servers are safe from them.

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TL/AC/RA

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