Education

Kean University Hacked Three Times in One Day, Algerian Group Claims Responsibility

f524ebd34e7418910dc3_FullSizeRender-1.jpg
4168ae969a05b9b6fbe5_FullSizeRender-2.jpg
9ab22812988e68121c56_FullSizeRender.jpg
f524ebd34e7418910dc3_FullSizeRender-1.jpg

UNION, NJ - The Kean University website was hacked three times Sunday and into early Monday morning by what the college and its police department believe to be an Algerian group calling itself “Red Hell.”

The university sent out a letter around 10 p.m. Sunday notifying students about the hack of the site, which remained offline until 2:15 a.m. Monday morning.

“Kean University's externally hosted website was hacked twice in the past 24 hours by a group calling itself Red Hell, claiming to operate out of Algeria,” the letter said. “They posted a despicable message. The site was disabled as soon as we were informed of the breach. A new firewall was enabled and the site became operational again at 3 p.m. today.”

Sign Up for E-News

According to the university, Rackspace, the external hosting company, is researching which other sites were hacked today in addition to www.kean.edu.

Kean said in the letter that it informed the appropriate law-enforcement authorities as soon as it learned that the site was compromised, and that one of Kean's mission-critical operations such as financial and record-management systems, KeanWise or the University's e-mail system were impacted.

The hack included a profanity-laced message that could be initially found on the site and on mobile phones of students trying to access the school online.

“Do You Feel Safe? Hacked by Red hell sofyan 2 nd time in 24 H,” the message said.

It then went on a disparaging barrage using expletives against America, France and Israel and demanded the freeing of Palestine.

Kean Police confirmed the incident when contacted in the early morning hours Monday, but would not give any other details.

A Twitter account, @RedHellSofyan, with a profile picture featuring the colors of the French flag with a red slash over it, posted a Tweet at 6:20 a.m. which read, “Need to Talk University Server Under Control.” An earlier Tweet read “HAck Is Art : D spam Is More Then Art.”

It is unclear if the Twitter account was related to the hack.

Additional information was not immediately available.

While the college believes this group and the Twitter posts may be responsible, TAP has no way to confirm the authenticity of the group's ownership of the Twitter account or to verify its claim of responsibility for the hacking.

It is the second time this month that the university has had to deal with issues caused by technology and social media.

Former student Kayla-Simone McKelvey, 24, of  Union Township, was charged earlier this month with being responsible for a series of false threatening Twitter posts targeting black students at the school in November. 

After an investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit and the Kean University Police Department, it was revealed that McKelvey, an African-American self-proclaimed activist, participated in a student rally regarding racial issues held on the evening of  Tuesday, Nov. 17, but left the rally midway through and walked to a computer station located in a university library. 

Once there, McKelvey allegedly created an anonymous Twitter account and began posting racially charged threats of violence against black Kean students.

After making the posts, McKelvey immediately returned to the rally and attempted to spread awareness of the threats she allegedly had just fabricated. The investigation further revealed that there was never any actual plan to harm students.

McKelvey, was charged via summons with a single count of third-degree creating a false public alarm. A first appearance in the case was scheduled for Dec. 14, in the Union County Jail courtroom. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_efec3d39ddc6008dd11e_4a256201-8c0a-450c-b62e-8a761d6f5b83

Thu, July 19, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, July 24, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Carousel_image_efec3d39ddc6008dd11e_4a256201-8c0a-450c-b62e-8a761d6f5b83

Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

July 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

PATERSON MAYOR ANDRE SAYEGH APPOINTS MIKE POWELL AS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

PATERSON, NJ – Mayor Andre Sayegh today appointed Mike Powell as the city’s economic development director for the new city administration.

“Just as Alexander Hamilton looked to the Great Falls and saw the future of our nation, we look to the Great Falls and all of Paterson’s resources and see the prosperous future of our great city,” said Sayegh.

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 12, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Big Plans for Small Park in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK, NJ- An under-utilized pocket park on Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward has become a symbol of what can be accomplished in neighborhoods throughout the city through effective public-private partnerships. 

The park’s supporters have big plans for the public space, located directly across the street from the busy North Ward Center, located in an historic ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...

RU Ready for Rutgers Football? Tickets on Sale

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...