Universities are a wealth of sensitive data and prime targets for cyberattacks. IE 11 is not supported. Oxford, Warwick, and Greenwich Universities are among many of the higher education institutes to have fallen victim to attacks in recent years, with hackers attempting to steal research data and … Newcastle University is being held to ransom by cyber criminals in an attack which has been disrupting IT systems since the beginning of the month. So what is the solution? This year isn't over, but it has already seen its fair share of headline-grabbing hacks. "Most of the third-party companies that provide software to education institutions, frankly, don't focus on security," he said. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Looking beyond just financial gain, there are a number of other reasons why cyber attacks are hitting education institutions more frequently. Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre … Students are responsible for cyber attacks on Universities and Colleges Posted By Naveen Goud A research conducted by a government-funded agency has discovered that students are more responsible for cyber attacks on Universities and Colleges than hacking … Hackers specifically target universities for the sensitive information stored in their systems. Twenty-five percent of them were vulnerable. A … I don't think I thought a year ago that I would know as much about information security as I do now.". Colleges Toughen Cyber Defenses as Hacking Threats Linger, Super Hackers Reveal How Easy It Is to Steal Just About Everything, Stunning Map Shows Chinese Cyber Spies Target U.S. He noted that education tech isn't a very lucrative field, which means companies don't face much competition. These aren't college kids trying to change their grades. This year, breaches of Pennsylvania State University and the University of Virginia were blamed on Chinese hackers. In 2019 alone, 89 U.S. universities, colleges and school districts became victims of such attacks, followed by at least 30 in … "For a university that's understaffed and under-resourced, it can be a difficult situation for them," Oppenheim said. A cyber attack at Newcastle University has turned out to be a ransomware infection courtesy of the Doppelpaymer gang. For one, cutting edge research takes place in universities, … With their vast stores of personal data and expensive research, universities are prime targets for hackers looking to graduate from swiping credit card numbers. Breaches … Higher education institutions face unique threats in their data security. In 2014, 10 percent of reported security breaches involved the education sector, according to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report. Universities should ensure that all staff and students … Colleges and Universities are Prime Cyber Attack Targets Cutting edge research has made Higher Education a prime target. When Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in the United States this week, President Barack Obama is expected to bring up the issue of cyberespionage, a tense topic that some have speculated could lead to economic sanctions against Chinese firms. Universities under siege in 2015 This year, breaches of Pennsylvania State University and the University of Virginia were blamed on Chinese hackers. In addition to personal information, universities also hold confidential research data which can be valuable to cyber criminals and state-sponsored actors. This week the National Cyber Security Centre issued its latest alert warning of the threat to disruptive attacks aimed at the education sector, following a spate of attacks on schools, colleges, and universities.. The university is spending millions upgrading its computer network to better safeguard against future attacks. It's unknown whether the hackers were independent actors or sponsored by the government. From 2006 to 2013, 550 universities reported some kind of data breach, he said. Hackers have posted a small sample of files from the gang on a … Higher Education is particularly hard to protect because, in contrast to corporations, higher education computer networks must allow for more open access to employees and students. "A quarter of state universities ... that's insane," said Michael Borohovski, founder and CTO of Tinfoil Security. Making sure everyone on campus is on board with … We focus on cyber attacks on government agencies, defense and high tech companies, or economic crimes with losses of more than a million … "Protecting schools is a lot harder than protecting corporations, mainly because you have to allow people to bring their own devices," Borohovski said. Records and ID documents of some Lancaster University students were accessed in the … Such ransomware attacks on universities have become common. Washington State University and Johns Hopkins University were also the target of attacks. The UK's cyber-security agency has issued a warning to universities and colleges that rising numbers of cyber-attacks are threatening to disrupt the start of term. Universities have received an alert about an increase in cyber attacks Why you can trust Sky News British universities and colleges have been warned about a spike in ransomware attacks … Sometimes they use "spear phishing" emails with malicious links or attachments that can be used to establish a "beachhead inside the network" and try to gain more access, Oppenheim said. General Info: 409.880.7011 4400 MLK Blvd., PO Box 10009, Beaumont, Texas 77710. Lone wolf hackers creating nuisance viruses have been replaced by sophisticated foreign governments and organized crime rings. This is not a new phenomenon. At the University of Connecticut, student Social Security numbers and credit card data were taken. August saw a rise in cyberattacks on schools and universities, government experts have warned (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images) “Almost 100% of cyber attacks require human interaction to be successful, and that same human interaction can also bring about failure. "And that includes information security. "I just think they're going to need a lot of help.". However, 36 per cent do not know the … Cutting edge research has made Higher Education a prime target. Higher Education cyber attacks initiated The first deal of cyber criminals in Higher Education was an attack on Yale’s system in 2002 by hackers from Princeton University. Earlier in the summer, and amid the Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent disruption, dozens of UK universities … Universities should be looking to outside help to shore up and strengthen their computer networks, Oppenheim said. "It's arguably cheaper to try to steal that information than to create it yourself.". "We have a lot of really smart people here doing state-of-the-art research," he said. Universities in Auckland and Otago were victims of a cyber security breach this year, linked to an attack against technology firm Blackbaud, which store information on their behalf. They can also prioritize the most sensitive information and spend their limited resources protecting it. Student data has been stolen in a “sophisticated and malicious” cyber-attack on a university. According to the report sponsored by VMware and Dell EMC, cyber attacks on UK universities presents an increasing risk to national security, with 93% of university research … The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has confirmed it paid a ransom totaling $1.14 million (£925,000) to the criminals behind a cyber-attack on its School of Medicine. University College, Oxford, is among more than 20 colleges hit by the cyber-attack More than 20 universities and charities in the UK, US and Canada have confirmed they are victims of a … Universities … So far, Jones said, consultants hired by the university have traced the origin of the attacks to China. Prior to his work at The Week, he was a technology writer at TIME. Hundreds of Times. They're potentially "nation-state actors" much like the hackers who have targeted large corporations in the past, said Michael Oppenheim, intelligence operations manager at Internet security firm FireEye. Simply put, a university is an IT environment that combines a large amount of high-value information with a wide attack surface. This year was no exception when talking about espionage attacks on universities. Often universities hold sensitive personal information on thousands of staff and students, making them prime targets for attack. Other times they enter malicious code into websites that students and faculty regularly log into. All Rights Reserved. "I don't think that they were run-of-the-mill criminals after credit card information," said Jones. That trails only health care (37 percent) and retail (11 percent). Hackers gain access to school networks the same way they gain access to a lot of other networks. The transient nature of university populations — students on erratic schedules entering and leaving campus, as well as graduating — can make tracking down the source of malicious software difficult, according to Borohovski. 2014-2016 Hackers became smarter, Higher Education cyber attacks are more specific. Chiara Sottile is an NBC News Tech Producer. Universities responding to the posture survey estimate that cyber attacks over the last year cost less than £100,000, with most losses under £50,000. It's probably because they don't know it's a problem or they're simply not catching it in time.". Many senior university leaders and board members are increasingly worried about the rising threat of cyber security attacks. Another problem is that universities have limited options when it comes to software for services like student registration. "As administrators in education, we know that we're responsible for security writ large," Nicholas Jones, provost of Pennsylvania State University, told NBC News. Despite the frequency of attacks, many schools aren't prepared to defend themselves. In May, Penn State revealed that hackers had breached computers in its engineering department — something that was brought to the university's attention by the FBI. The school says "vulnerabilities" uncovered in the attack … Unlike retailers, whose information typically includes credit card numbers and other customer statistics, 5 Strategies to Thwart Cyberattacks in Higher Education. While the attacks aren't novel, universities don't have strict control over the hardware and software that students and faculty use. "If they don't have to spend money on security and can still win a contract, that is what they're going to do," he said. The combination of employee and student personal and financial information, confidential data such as medical records, and commercially desirable research combined with the cultural openness of higher education has made Colleges and Universities prime targets. Finding the culprit behind the keyboard in cyberattacks can be incredibly difficult. This timeline records significant cyber incidents since 2006. In a recent study, Tinfoil Security tested the networks of 557 state universities with a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack. He covers technology, reporting on Internet security, mobile technology and more. He joined NBC News from The Week, where he was a staff writer covering politics. Keith Wagstaff is a contributing writer at NBC News. "I think schools are waking up to it," Borohovski said. A good first step is getting universities to acknowledge the threat of cyberattacks in the first place, something that might be helped by the recent spate high-profile breaches. The type of attack has also changed significantly. The University of Utah says nearly $500,000 it paid to cyber thieves in a ransomware attack did not come out of tuition, grants or taxpayer funded accounts. It's a trend that is forcing schools to think harder about how they protect students and researchers from a threat that never shows its face on campus. At the University of Connecticut, … University College London, one of the world's leading universities, has been hit by a major cyber-attack. "It's not because they don't care. Overall, about 18,000 students and faculty, plus around 500 research partners, were possibly affected by a breach that might have started as far back as two years ago. 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