People trying to print in Perkins Sunday received an unexpected message.
A hacker infiltrated Duke’s online, campus-wide printing system Sunday, which resulted in the printers feeding out multiple copies of a cheeky message when students attempted to use select printers in Perkins Library, said Circulation Desk Assistant Kristin Brunn, a sophomore. Students swiped their DukeCards and selected their printing jobs, causing “thousands of copies of the papers” to print out, Brunn said. The message offered advice to the Duke authorities responsible for ePrint.
“Perhaps you dumb-asses should password protect a printer you directly connect to the Internet,” the message read, signed, “—Bored university student in Texas :)~.”
A postscript advised a shuffling of Duke’s information technology staff.
“P.S. Maybe you should fire your IT department,” the message concluded.
The Office of Information Technology said the hacking incident was contained, and staff members are taking measures to prevent future incidents.
“No Duke data or user information was compromised,” wrote Richard Biever, chief information security officer and director of identity management, in an email Monday. “The incident was limited to a portion of the library ePrint printers and was the only such issue that we have seen.”
Biever noted that OIT is working with other University departments to ensure that other printers do not experience a similar problem.
Further “specific information” about the hacking incident was unavailable, Cara Bonnett, OIT managing editor, said.
The affected printers were unavailable for use Sunday after the breach was detected.
“Usually I am frustrated when [the printers] break down for technical reasons, but this was kind of amusing,” junior Josh Weiss said.
He added, however, that the incident indicates a need for greater security measures.
“Friends of mine who are more computer-savvy than me have told me hacking the Duke system like that is currently not that hard to do,” Weiss said.
Some ePrint users were unaware of the hacking, given the frequency of out-of-order ePrint stations.
“I didn’t even notice because ePrint is always broken anyway,” said sophomore Corrie Potter.