July 2014 Network Attack FAQs

On July 31, 2014 the University of West Florida provided notice of a network security attack. The information below provides details on this incident.

What happened?

The University discovered unauthorized activity by individuals on certain portions of the university network on the Pensacola main campus. While we do not know the full extent of their activities at this time, we believe that these individuals attacked the network to intercept UWF ArgoNet usernames and passwords for approximately 90 people, as well as usernames and passwords for non-UWF systems (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, etc.) for approximately 70 people.

What type of information was compromised?

The information we currently have evidences that some usernames and passwords were compromised, primarily those assigned to UWF students.

How did this happen?

Due to security implications, we are not releasing the specific details of the methods used in this incident.

Who is at risk?

Based on what we know currently, persons most at risk are individuals who have used the network in the John C. Pace Library, Building 4 (Science & Engineering), and UWF Residence Halls, in particular Heritage Hall, Pace Hall, and Presidents Hall, during the last 12 months.

What should I do?

We are strongly encouraging everyone to change their ArgoNet (e.g., MyUWF/Gmail) password immediately, following the instructions available at the Password Change Instructions page located in Confluence. For more information on ArgoNet passwords, you may refer to the MyUWF Access Instructions. 

In addition, we encourage everyone to change their passwords for any non-UWF systems (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, etc.) that they may have accessed from on campus during the last 12 months.

How can I get help with changing my password?

Call the University of West Florida ITS Help Desk at 850-474-2075.

What is being done to prevent this in the future?

Again, while we cannot share specific details, ITS is enacting steps to minimize opportunities for this type of incident to occur again.