Last week, the German University of Giessen, Justus Liebig, suffered from an attack by a cryptographer. University IT specialists considered the infection serious enough to take offline the entire infrastructure and servers of the school. Since December 8, the university’s network has not been working, and all computers are disconnected from the network and isolated from each other. Also, due to fears that infection will affect the university’s mail server, all passwords from email accounts used by both students and employees were reset as a precaution.
Since the time of infection, IT specialists have used antivirus scanners loaded on more than 1,200 USB drives that they handed out to employees to check every computer for malware. Employees of the university generally went through this two times: each computer was scanned last week, and then again last weekend. The fact is that the second scan was carried out by another tool and was supposed to accurately identify malware.
But due to the peculiarities of German law, an almost comical situation arose in the university: the university could not simply send new passwords to the victims' mail. Instead, due to the requirements of the German National Science and Education Network, professors and students were forced to come in for their passwords in person, taking them from the IT specialists of the university, and necessarily providing identification cards.
As a result, numerous photos of what is happening appeared on social networks, in which thousands of people stand in line for new passwords.
The University in Gießen, Germany had a security incident that required resetting the passwords of 38000 students. Students are lining up to get their new passwords on paper, after identity verification. More about the incident on the bottom of this page: https://t.co/uMBOi2MpJr pic.twitter.com/QEKcPMZ2Sk
– svbl (@svblxyz) December 17, 2019
It is worth noting that this unusual password reset still takes place in a very orderly and organized manner – using a special schedule based on the birth dates of students and employees.