Computer Viruses Discovered at City College of San Francisco

After transmitting data for 10 years, the viruses were finally detected a few days after Thanksgiving.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Computers at a local college have been hacked and are being used by criminal networks around the world. Students at City College of San Francisco are being warned. NBC Bay Area's Traci Grant explains how administrators are handling the tech emergency.

    For more than a decade, a number of computer viruses have been stealing personal information from thousands of students, faculty and staff at City College of San Francisco, SFGate reported.

    No identity theft cases related to the viruses have been reported yet, but officials fear the viruses may have compromised banking information and other personal data.

    Since 1999, at least seven viruses have been trolling the college's networks every night around 10 p.m. They were sending data to China, Russia, Iran and at least eight other countries, including the United States.

    The viruses were detected a few days after last Thanksgiving, when a security system noticed suspicious patterns.

    The campus on Phelan Avenue was able to trace at least 723 IP addresses to a notorious gang know as the Russian Business Network, which disbanded in 2008.

    To prevent further spread of the viruses, the college's Cloud Hall computer lab was shut down after the discovery. The college is also inspecting 17 at-risk computer systems, according to SFGate. USB drives probably infected personal computers and laptops, as well.

    It is still not clear how much information was transmitted. But apparently, servers holding medical information were untouched by the viruses.

    "These viruses are shining a light on years of (security) neglect," said David Hotchkiss, chief technology officer.

    The college is also considering asking the FBI for help.