Device on computers used to steal ID of UI students, staff

The University of Iowa is changing the name of its student information hub after receiving...
The University of Iowa is changing the name of its student information hub after receiving complaints.(KCRG)
Published: Jan. 19, 2017 at 12:38 PM CST
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The University of Iowa is investigating devices left on campus computers that it believes compromised the personal information for 250 students and staff.

Officials with the University of Iowa tell KCRG-TV9 News the breach may be linked to attempts at cheating.

"The University of Iowa is investigating a handful of potential cases of academic misconduct after a faculty member discovered a student’s grade had been changed without the faculty member’s authorization," said Anne Bassett, media relations director for the University of Iowa.

Bassett said the devices appear to have been used by a "few students" to change their grades in select courses.

In a notice sent to the campus, the university said the devices compromised the HawkID and password for the students. That information gave thieves access to computers, email and online course registry.

"Given the scope of credentials that were stolen, we want to inform the broader community of this situation as well," the notice to the campus stated.

The University said it notified all impacted students and staff but still recommends users change passwords frequently, as a precaution.

The University said its IT staff is still investigating for more devices and where those devices came from. The University said it also plans to expand the use of two-factor authentication for its systems, making it more difficult to access accounts with a stolen log-in.

If you believe your account was hacked, University officials ask you contact the Information Security & Policy Office at (319) 335-6332 or

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