AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Three local schools were hacked, including UMass, the state’s largest public university. They were all the victims of a cyber attack. Their IT systems were compromised and their printers and fax machines were used as tools to spread a message of hate.
UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski told 22News they are putting new security measures in place, but didn’t go into detail. Students told 22News they are concerned.
“It makes me worries that maybe we should go somewhere else or look into a more secure network,” said UMass sophomore Tylar Pelletier.
“That’s an awful thing for someone to send out and I expect more out of the university to make sure things like that don’t happen here,” said UMass sophomore Katie Fetros.
The hackers printed out flyers with racist and anti-semitic messages that included the web address of a hate group.
According to the UMass newspaper, The Daily Collegian, the Integrative Learning Center or ILC was where at least one of those flyers was found, sitting on a receptionists desk. It’s the same building where a Swastika was drawn in a bathroom stall in February, though, there’s no evidence the incidents are connected.
“A message of hate says more about the person sending it, then it does about who they are talking too,” said UMass Senior Greg Lucas. “So I think we can hit it dead in the water that that doesn’t resolve in us.”
“Unfortunately, as with most cases of hate. All it takes is one person to make everyone feel uncomfortable and targeted,” said UMass junior Olivia Branton.
Smith College in Northampton and Mt. Holyoke in South Hadley were also hacked. Smith College told 22News their working to identify and block the source of the flyers. Mt. Holyoke says they found two flyers, one in an office another in a residence hall. The hack has affected schools across the country.