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American university sees $1 million stolen after banking malware intercepts controller's credentials

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Attackers have managed to steal around $1 million from The University of Virginia.

The attack on the satellite campus of the University of Virginia's College at Wise occurred last week. Speaking to security blogger Brian Krebs, Kathy Still, director of news and media relations at UVA Wise, declined to offer specifics on the theft and said that the school was investigating a hacking incident.

She said: “All I can say now is we have a possible computer hacking situation under investigation. I can also tell you that as far as we can tell, no student data has been compromised.”

Krebs cited sources familiar with the case who said that thieves stole the funds after compromising a computer belonging to the university's controller. A virus intercepted online banking credentials for the university's accounts at BB&T Bank, and initiated a single fraudulent wire transfer in the amount of $996,000 to the Agricultural Bank of China. BB&T declined to comment.

Krebs said: “Sources said the FBI is investigating and has possession of the hard drive from the controller's PC. A spokeswoman at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. said that as a matter of policy the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations.”

A year ago, SC Magazine reported on public schools and universities that were targeted by a gang of organised cyber criminals who stole $117,000 from the Sanford School District in Sanford, Colorado, while funds were also stolen from schools in Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

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