Northwestern advises students to change passwords in response to HeartBleed bug

Rebecca Savransky, Campus Editor

Northwestern University Information Technology sent out an email on Monday advising students to change their online passwords as part of the remediation process in response to the HeartBleed bug.

NUIT director Wendy Woodward told The Daily that although there is no evidence NU accounts have been affected by the virus, it is important students change their passwords associated with all accounts to ensure data remains private.

“Since we learned of the vulnerability, NUIT immediately began taking steps to limit the exposure of campus systems and will continue to assess it,” Woodward said. “Because of the nature of the flaw, we have asked folks to be proactive in changing their Net ID passwords just as an added security measure. We have no evidence of any form of compromise on University systems but are advising that people take the necessary steps just to provide for added security.”

In the original email sent by NUIT last Thursday regarding HeartBleed, students were told NU websites were unaffected by the bug and no action needed to be taken.

Woodward said, however, she and her department have been in contact with other technology experts throughout the process to decide how to respond to the virus. She added NUIT is also advising students to change their passwords on other websites they use in addition to those associated with their NU accounts, noting the campus-wide email included tips for students to use when creating new passwords.

“Just make sure you’re protecting yourself across the board even if it’s inconvenient,” Woodward said. “Take an extra moment to take the step to just ensure your data stays protected.”

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