© 2024 | WUWF Public Media
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
850 474-2787
NPR for Florida's Great Northwest
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

"Man In The Middle" Cyber Attack Targets UWF

Photo via Flickr//cybersecurity

A computer security breach at the University of West Florida has compromised the accounts of at least 160 individuals including 90 UWF students.  UWF's Chief Information Officer Mike Dieckmann says this particular type of cyber attack is called a "man in the middle attack. It's kind of the internet equivalent of wiretapping". People were actually intercepting on line traffic, decrypting it and using that information to acquire user names and passwords from people's accounts.

Dieckmann says there have been suspicions about a security breech since last year and it appears that in university's library building is ground zero for the attack. While no one is saying if there are currently any suspects in the attack, officials know that the attackers had to be physically in the building to carry it out.

Once a person's user name and password have been compromised, their information is pretty much an open book. Officials at the University of West Florida are working to seal the breech and find the people responsible for the attack. They are being assisted in their investigation by University Police and the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.

In the meantime, the university is moving forward with measures to beef up their security to protect students, faculty and other employees of UWF.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.