Welcome hackers, security is a joke

Maliha Jafri

Don’t like your professor? Want revenge for your hours of suffering through lectures and rough grading? Then simply hack his e-mail account, change the grade of 300 students, use his personal data to order pizza, send more than 20 magazine subscriptions and blank CDs to his house.

In the case that you are tracked and caught in the act, the dean will award you with the luxury of time off as you are removed from the university. Then if you are alleged convicted of the crime you will be granted a vacation to jail for a minimum one year per charge.

CSUN Internet security is a joke. Anyone can answer “security questions” about you with little or no research including: what is your birthday, what is your pet’s name and what is the color of your car. The CSUN security system has a series of common questions that are not too hard to get by. Hackers take advantage of your poor security measures and you could end up with massive credit card bills and identity theft.

People seem to think that it wouldn’t happen to them but guess what? It will! Don’t have easy security information. I also used to think that it won’t happen to me, the same as most of you out there, but that changed two years ago when I had my hotmail account hacked. Lucky for me, the hacker did it just for kicks. No pockets were emptied, but that’s not always the case.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, more than 800,000 people at colleges and universities nationwide have had secure information exposed due to more than 30 security failures.

Knowing the above and more, officials are still confused. Should we change the security system or not? Of course! What will it take for officials to recognize that we have an enormous Internet security problem? Maybe they are waiting for their personal accounts to get hacked, or maybe they don’t really care if faculty and student sensitive information is leaked, but whatever the case, we need the security.

No matter what other Internet security is enforced, until the security questions are very specific such as what day and year did you break your first bone, there will be problems.

Also, school officials, faculty and staff should be required to call the help desk to change any information related to forwarding e-mail, user name and password. Without the above suggestions, security is pretty much useless.

Maliha Jafri can be reached at maliha.jafri.18@csun.edu.