200+ Universities Hacked and Thousands of Accounts Leaked for #ProjectWestWind

Few hours ago @TeamGhostShell announced a huge hack on their Twitter account, the hack basically contains thousands of leaks coming from hacked educational websites from all over the world.

The hackers hacked over 200 universities and other educational websites, leaking their data online.

The size and quantity of the leaked data is so much that it had to be distributed and mirrored in three parts, the leaked data is available on PasteBin.

However, according to the hackers, a huge message was also left on the leaks, which explains why the hack was done and why the accounts have been leaked. According to the message:

We have set out to raise awareness towards the changes made in today’s education, how new laws imposed by politicians affect us, our economy and overall, our way of life. How far we have ventured from learning valuable skills that would normally help us be prepared in life, to just, simply memorizing large chunks of text in exchange for good grades. How our very own traditions are heard less and less, losing touch with who we truly are. Slowly casting the identities, that our ancestors fought to protect, into exile. – TGS

As a wise man once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Updates* We wanted to bring to your attention different examples from Europe, how the laws change so often that even the teachers have a hard time adjusting to them, let alone, the students, to the US, where tuition fees have spiked up so much that by the time you finish any sort of degree, you will be in more debt than you can handle and with no certainty that you will get a job, to Asia, where strict & limited teachings still persist and never seem to catch up with the times and most of the time fail to prep you up for a world where foreign affairs are crucial in this day and age.

Even so, we figured, how hypocrites we’d have to be to enforce our own beliefs in this release, that’s why, this turned out into an open debate where you are all welcome to participate. You don’t have to talk about it with us, what’s important is that you bring up the subject “today’s education” in day-to-day conversations with your family, friends, people close to you and try to understand the system better, together. How it works, how a certain type of diploma can or cannot help you in your road to the career you want to pursue.

As for us, we have taken the time to gather opinions and points of views from different anonymous members, all around the globe. On behalf of Team GhostShell, I would like to respectfully thank all those that have contributed to this release. It has been a unique experience. – DeadMellox

The situation and Europe are nowhere near comparable – the cost of an education in the US is astronomically higher. However, I feel that you do have a point.
– Solutions: Look in the open-source community. Find those willing to provide educational literature and have it for free for students. The issue with this is that all universities have some agreements with publishers about books for courses and there seem to be few ways to circumvent this. I’ve said it in the past and continue to attempt to work on this now – make a viable, functioning online university with people in the education field. Advertising and donations for revenue [a radical idea, but something that is in sync with reality in the 21st century]
– “Teacher excitement” sorry, there are many educators that are enthusiastic about their careers, but classroom sizes are ever-increasing. I feel that encouragement and programs to make those interact with their peers and “self-teach” is effective. Self teaching is effective, especially in children. Example:  has had tremendous success.

Quality: Mcdonaldization of the education system, classroom sizes, decrease in critical thinking skills – Anonymous

Learning. has been reduced to LEARN and REPEAT information, as in MEMORIZE.

If intelligence is not defined by data retention, but the ability to understand data “at present moment” and creativity.

Why to follow old procedures? why not create a channel where everything can be learned? online, officially with the help of schools nationally. – Anonymous

The easy answer is student loans, and they are a big deal. However I am more frustrated that we designed our current educational system in the 40s/50s when our school system was designed to output 50-70% of students for manufacturing jobs. We have kept this same system for over 60+ years. Now the manufacturing jobs market is almost gone so those students are finding themselves net receiving the education that they need for jobs in the information age, and they know it. A common complaint for dropouts is that they feel that the school system is not benefiting them.

This may be part of the root cause of why we are facing high drop out stats and unemployment for students that do not go on to higher education. Part of the problem is that our current system was only designed to output ~20% to higher education. – Anonymous.

Hackers have attacked over 64 universities and several other educational institutes from all over the world, the list of countries maybe uncountable but the damage is everlasting. The attacked sites are from the UK, USA, Australia, China, Japan and other countries of EU.

The complete list of effected websites along with the leaked data can be downloaded from here.

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.