EMAIL servers at the University of Western Sydney have been hacked in the latest show of dissent against the institution.
A statement from the university's media department has confirmed that distribution lists had been "breached". "UWS email distribution lists were breached over the weekend," the statement read.
"The lists were shut down and a full investigation is under way. The breach was limited to the email lists and other than an unfortunate amount of spam received, student and staff UWS IT accounts were not under any threat."
On Monday, a member of the student representative council contacted Fairfax Media to report that email accounts had been hacked in protest against the university's free iPad program.
"This morning virtually all UWS staff and student emails were spammed," the student said. "One student reported 400 emails, another staff member said close to 1000, regarding this person's dissent over the iPad initiative."
One of the spam emails was forwarded on to Fairfax Media. "What has happened today is the result of pent-up frustration at a university which spits in the face of students and staff with no recourse," the message attributed to "students of UWS" began.
Another spam email was attributed to "Anonymous", which may have been a reference to the "hactivist" group that regularly protests by hacking into organisations' websites.
The University Student Representative Council has warned its members on Facebook that replying to the spam emails can worsen the problem. Replying could activate third-party sites that disseminate more spam emails, the warning stated.
The breach comes after November's student protests against course and staff cuts. Last week, students used social media to protest against the university giving away 11,000 iPads to new students and staff this year.