UCI students fight hackers in gruesome cyberattack – NBC Los Angeles | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

A group of current and former University of California, Irvine students managed to fight back a group of hackers after they were targeted in a vicious and gruesome cyberattack, according to one graduate involved.

The attack, which began on Jan. 9, included disturbing images and videos of human and animal mutilation.

“The videos included human corpses being sexually violated,” said Alina Kim, a UCI computer science and engineering graduate.

She also saw people hurting animals, kids and other images she can never un-see. Some students got physically ill, Kim said.

“I remember feeling a lot of shock,” she said. “Feeling just a very primal disgust and wrongness seeing this type of content.”

The content was viewed by approximately 3,000 online users on the social platform Discord.

UC Irvine sent a statement saying in part: “UC Irvine does not manage the Discord servers, the account activity, nor the security settings around them – they are independently managed. However, we take seriously our commitment to protecting members of our community.”

In one message, the hackers demanded a $1,000 ransom.

“For a long time, I feared something like this might happen, so I set up some infrastructure just in case,” said Kim.

Kim put her computer science and software engineering degrees to good use as she teamed together with other users to stop the hack.

“If we banned an account in one server, it would ban them universally on all of our servers,” said Kim. “That way we could keep each other safe, even if we weren’t personally online to manage the attacks.”

While the hack hasn’t stopped, Kim and a team of others managed to block the content on the larger servers.

She is working with UCI police and planned on reaching out to the FBI. UC Irvine officials said counseling services would be available to students.

Kim is sending her own message to the perpetrators.

“I guess our message is: You chose the wrong school to mess with.”


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National Cyber Security