‘Anonymous’ Hacks Australian University’s Email, Protests Bulk iPad Buy

Protesting the bulk purchase of iPad devices by the University of Western Sydney, the Anonymous hacktivist group has hacked the Oz University’s e-mail server. A hacker or hackers, signing their work with ‘Anonymous’ has used the University’s servers to send spam and has also subscribed students to various commercial mailing lists. Reportedly, the Oz University uses the Microsoft’s live@edu hosted email service.

The students at University of Western Sydney (UWS) were not happy with the fact that the university was slamming the iPads on them. When the UWS acknowledged the incident on its Facebook page, it invited over 300 responses, out of which one was signed by ‘Anonymous’ and was titled as ‘When will UWS stop abusing and exploiting their student body?’.

The students are complaining and criticizing the cost of the iPads, and informed that there was a lack of consultation with students before the bulk purchase of the device by the UWS. One of the students wrote an extensive complain letter to The Reg, stating,

“The sad part in all of this is that the tablet they’ve chosen to gift the students is not only the most expensive to maintain, nor is it just fundamentally and significantly overpriced for the technical specifications it carries, but it is also extremely locked down in terms of scalability. Apple refuses to allow things such as saving files (other than photos), rendering Flash-based websites and videos, and does not even have a decent office suite available. It is no more than a toy, and for some reason UWS seems to think that the ability to play Angry Birds during lectures and tutorials will somehow provide a better learning experience.”

Looks like the Anonymous group, worldwide, is quite active these days. Just last week, the Anonymous Mexican group hacked the Mexican Defense Ministry website, posting a manifesto from the Zapatista rebel group. The manifesto was up on the website for two hours in front of a black background, with phrases from the manifesto of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN).

“With the no-central-authority nature of Anonymous and the peer-reputation system that the hacktivist collective uses, it’s difficult to say when or what the collective does or did,” says Kyt Dotson, HackANGLE editor. “In this case, it looks less like a cell of the collective did the work and more a lone hacker or small team leaving behind a call signature that just signed as ‘Anonymous.’ The hack was opportunistic, fitting to a very small demographic, and doesn’t have the same moral flavor of many actions taken by the collective in the past.”

About Isha Suri

Isha Suri is a staff writer for SiliconANGLE covering social news and security trends. If you have a story idea or news tip, send it to @SiliconAngle on Twitter.