Officials at Concordia University have filed a police report after recently noticing a security breach at the university's Webster and Vanier libraries.

The university's library and technical staff recently found hardware devices called keyloggers on some of its workstations.

"Hardware devices called keyloggers ... can capture computer keystrokes," said a statement issued Monday by the university. "These keylogger devices can capture personal data such as login information and passwords ... by tracking the keystrokes used at a workstation."

The affected computers are the ones at express workstations, which are available for public use for a maximum of 10 minutes.

 The university said that the security network of its 272 laptops on loan and its 432 library workstations is intact.

"We want to reassure you that the hardware keyloggers were only found on express workstations located on LB2 in the Webster Library … and on express workstations located in the Vanier Library on VL1."

Heightened security

School officials said they are beefing up security in areas where public computers are located.

"We are conducting regular visual inspections and implementing several other measures that include educating our students, faculty and staff," the statement said.

Advice for students

The university is urging anyone who used a computer at a standing express workstation in the last 12 months to take precautionary measures, including:

  • Changing their password associated with their Concordia netname.
  • Changing passwords of other accounts, especially if the computer was used to conduct online banking.
  • Carefully reviewing bank accounts and credit card statements.

University officials said that anyone who used an express workstation and has had their accounts compromised should file a report with Montreal police, using the file number MTL-EV-1600-227343.