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When the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) found out last week they had usernames and passwords of 100,000 members unencrypted on a FTP server, available for anyone to stumble upon, there was the usual rush to shore up the situation.

Upon hearing about the hole from Romanian researcher Radu Dragusin, IEEE started an investigation, and quickly found some answers.

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In a statement IEEE said:

“The problem related to the communication of user IDs and passwords between two specific applications within our internal network resulting in the inclusion of such data in web logs.

Cyber Security

“An anomaly occurred with a process executed in coordination with a proxy provider of IEEE, with the result that copies of some of the logs were placed on our public FTP server. These communications affected approximately two percent of our users. The log files in question contained user IDs and accompanying passwords that matched our directory. The primary logs were, and are, stored in protected areas.

“Upon discovering this exposure, IEEE immediately removed those files, ceased receiving those log files from the proxy provider, and corrected the interapplication communication that resulted in the logs containing user IDs and passwords.

“The affected user accounts were locked down, and only affected users were notified that IEEE is requiring that each affected user change his or her password. Institutional account information was, and remains, unaffected.”

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