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

Piscataway

Following Florida Massacre, EB Schools Add Armed Officers to Security

February 17, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - At a meeting Thursday night, the East Brunswick board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to engage the East Brunswick Police department to place armed police officers at each school building in the district throughout the entire school day.  In a report released by superintendent Victor Valeski yesterday, township officials asserted that the move would ...

Obituaries

Christina C. Sweet (Diaz) 79 years, died Monday January 1, 2017 at Robert Wood Johnson University ...
Read more
- Nov 15, 2017
Phillip A. Petracca, also widely known as Filippo Neri in the Italian-American Radio and ...
Read more

Wreath Laying for Local Vietnam Hero Lost 50 Years Ago Today Held in Piscataway

February 18, 2018

Childhood friends of Soldier & Family Join Mayor Brian C. Wahler, Township Councilmembers, RU Army ROTC Cadets, Local American Legion & Lake Nelson Residents Today at Park Named After Veteran

PISCATAWAY, NJ – On Feb. 18th, the 50th anniversary of the passing of Jeffrey R. Byrne, a Piscataway-raised 19-year-old who died serving in Vietnam, childhood friends of him and his family ...

South Plainfield Middle School Student Council Thanks Supporters

The South Plainfield Middle School Student Council would like to express our thanks for the support of local businesses and organizations in our fundraising efforts.  A spaghetti dinner was hosted by the South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 on January 13th.  Mrs. Sharon Reuter and members of her Youth Committee and kitchen crew provided dinner for family, friends and staff of South ...

Rutgers to Host Exhibit of Sen. Frank Lautenberg Papers

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey’s longest-serving U.S. senator, left an outsize imprint on state politics and national policy by the time he died while in office, in 2013.

His papers, now curated and maintained by the Rutgers University Libraries, encompass 2,250 boxes of hats, buttons, campaign stickers, vinyl records, paper documents and other artifacts that, laid end ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, February 19

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, February 19, 12:30 PM

PISCATAWAY

Matinee Monday

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20, 1:00 PM

Piscataway

Community Blood Drive

Health & Wellness

Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

Edison High School Auditorium, Edison

Free community viewing of "BAG IT" - Award ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government

Breaking News: Elizabeth Schools Report One Student Has Died from Flu Virus

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Elizabeth School District has reported that one student has died from Influenza (Flu).

“It is with great sadness that I must report to you that the Elizabeth School District has lost one of its own,”  Elizabeth Superintendent of Schools Olga Hugelmeyer wrote in a letter to parents over the weekend. The Superintendents letter is ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

The Best Way to Pay Your Child a Compliment

“Of course you’re good-looking.”  “You’re the best friend ever.”  “Who wouldn’t want you on their team?”  Is there a parent out there (including me) who hasn’t praised a child in order to make him or her feel better?  Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes we say it because we just can’t stand to see them ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...