Education and Academia


  • Cyber attack on UK’s Defence Academy had ‘significant’ impact, officer in charge at the time reveals

    January 2, 2022

    A cyber attack – possibly by China or Russia – hit the academic arm of the UK’s Ministry of Defence and had a “significant” impact, the officer in charge at the time has revealed. Air Marshal Edward Stringer, who retired from the armed forces in August, said the “sophisticated” hack – discovered last March – prompted ...

  • Honeypot experiment reveals what hackers want from IoT devices

    December 22, 2021

    A three-year-long honeypot experiment featuring simulated low-interaction IoT devices of various types and locations gives a clear idea of why actors target specific devices. More specifically, the honeypot was meant to create a sufficiently diverse ecosystem and cluster the generated data in a way that determines the goals of adversaries. IoT (Internet of Things) devices are a ...

  • Medical school exposes personal data of thousands of students

    November 3, 2021

    A US medical training school exposed the personally identifiable information (PII) of thousands of students. On Wednesday, vpnMentor published a report on the security incident, in which an unsecured bucket was left exposed online. The server, which did not have authentication controls in place and was, therefore, accessible by anyone to view, contained 157GB of data, or ...

  • ‘Trojan Source’ Hides Invisible Bugs in Source Code

    November 1, 2021

    Researchers have found a new way to encode potentially evil source code, such that human reviewers see a harmless version and compilers see the invisible, wicked version. Named “Trojan Source attacks,” the method “exploits subtleties in text-encoding standards such as Unicode to produce source code whose tokens are logically encoded in a different order from the ...

  • FBI: Ranzy Locker ransomware hit at least 30 US companies this year

    October 26, 2021

    The FBI said on Monday that Ranzy Locker ransomware operators had compromised at least 30 US companies this year from various industry sectors. “Unknown cyber criminals using Ranzy Locker ransomware had compromised more than 30 US businesses as of July 2021,” the FBI said in a TLP: WHITE flash alert. “The victims include the construction subsector of ...

  • Missouri Vows to Prosecute ‘Hacker’ Who Informed State About Data Leak

    October 15, 2021

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper recently found a huge security blunder: The Missouri educational agency’s site was displaying 100,000+ clearly visible Social-Security numbers for school teachers, administrators and counselors in its HTML source code. The newspaper verified its findings with a cybersecurity professor and then informed the agency responsible for the leaking site – the Department ...

  • US schools gave kids laptops during the pandemic. Then they spied on them

    October 11, 2021

    When the pandemic started last year, countless forms of inequality were exposed – including the millions of American families who don’t have access to laptops or broadband internet. After some delays, schools across the country jumped into action and distributed technology to allow students to learn remotely. The catch? They ended up spying on students. ...

  • Is it OK to use stolen data? What if it’s scientific research in the public interest?

    September 20, 2021

    There’s a fine line between getting hold of data that may be in the public interest and downright stealing data just because you can. And simply because the data is out there – having been stolen by online intruders and then leaked – does not mean it is right to use it. A paper published in ...

  • Operation SpoofedScholars: Iranian hackers posed as academics in a bid to steal email passwords

    July 13, 2021

    An Iranian cyber espionage campaign used spoofed identities of real academics at a UK university in phishing attacks designed to steal password details of experts in Middle Eastern affairs from universities, think tanks and the media. Detailed by cybersecurity researchers at Proofpoint, who’ve dubbed it Operation SpoofedScholars, the campaign also compromised a university-affiliated website in an ...

  • North Korean Kimsuky hacking group allegedly behind breach of South Korean nuclear institute

    June 21, 2021

    A North Korean hacking group with a history of high-profile attacks against South Korea allegedly breached the network of South Korea’s state-run nuclear research institute last month. Representative Ha Tae-keung of the People Power Party, South Korea’s main opposition party, claimed 13 unauthorised IP addresses accessed the internal network of Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) ...

  • Researchers create an ‘un-hackable’ quantum network over hundreds of kilometers using optical fiber

    June 10, 2021

    Researchers from Toshiba have successfully sent quantum information over 600-kilometer-long optical fibers, creating a new distance record and paving the way for large-scale quantum networks that could be used to exchange information securely between cities and even countries. Working from the company’s R&D lab in Cambridge in the UK, the scientists demonstrated that they could transmit ...

  • Ryuk ransomware finds foothold in bio research institute through student who wouldn’t pay for software

    May 6, 2021

    Security researchers have provided insight into how a single student unwittingly became the conduit for a ransomware infection that cost a biomolecular institute a weeks’ worth of vital research. In a report due to be published on Thursday, Sophos described the case, in which the team was pulled in to neutralize an active cyberattack on a ...

  • Cyberattack on UK university knocks out online learning, Teams and Zoom

    April 16, 2021

    The University of Hertfordshire has suffered a devastating cyberattack that knocked out all of its IT systems, including Office 365, Teams and Zoom, local networks, Wi-Fi, email, data storage and VPN. The university reported the hit by attackers on Wednesday, resulting in the cancellation of all online classes on Thursday and Friday. “Shortly before 22:00 on Wednesday ...

  • Conti Gang Demands $40M Ransom from Florida School District

    April 6, 2021

    The Conti Gang has demanded a $40 million ransom from a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., school district after a ransomware attack last month. Attackers stole personal information from students and teachers, disrupted the district’s networks, and caused some services to be unavailable. The incident that was discovered on March 7 at Broward County Public Schools drew limited ...

  • Ransomware gang leaks data from Stanford, Maryland universities

    April 3, 2021

    Personal and financial information stolen from Stanford Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), and the University of California was leaked online by the Clop ransomware group. The threat actors obtained the documents after hacking the universities’ Accellion File Transfer Appliance (FTA) software used to share and store sensitive information. Data stolen in the attack targeting Stanford Medicine’s ...

  • APT Charming Kitten Pounces on Medical Researchers

    March 31, 2021

    Security researchers have linked a late-2020 phishing campaign aimed at stealing credentials from 25 senior professionals at medical research organizations in the United States and Israel to an advanced persistent threat group with links to Iran called Charming Kitten. The campaign—dubbed BadBlood because of its medical focus and the history of tensions between Iran and Israel–aimed ...

  • Harris Federation hit by ransomware attack affecting 50 schools

    March 29, 2021

    The IT systems and email servers of London-based nonprofit multi-academy trust Harris Federation were taken down by a ransomware attack on Saturday. Harris Federation is an education charity running 50 Harris primary and secondary academies with 37,000 students from London and surrounding areas. The attack hit the school trust’s systems over the weekend on Saturday, March 27, ...

  • Ransomware gang leaks data stolen from Colorado, Miami universities

    March 23, 2021

    Grades and social security numbers for students at the University of Colorado and University of Miami patient data have been posted online by the Clop ransomware group. Starting in December, threat actors affiliated with the Clop ransomware operation began targeting Accellion FTA servers and stealing the data stored on them. Companies use these servers to share ...

  • UK colleges and unis urged to prepare for ransomware before it’s too late

    March 23, 2021

    Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has urged universities, schools, and colleges to be vigilant following an increase in ransomware attacks targeting educational institutions. “While operational details cannot be disclosed, the NCSC has dealt with a significant increase in the number of attacks since late February, when establishments were preparing to welcome students back to the ...

  • Oxford University lab with COVID-19 research links targeted by hackers

    February 26, 2021

    An Oxford University lab conducting research into the coronavirus pandemic has been compromised by cyberattackers. Oxford University, one of the most prominent educational institutions in the UK, was made aware of the security breach on Thursday. The university confirmed that a security incident took place at the Division of Structural Biology lab, also known as “Strubi,” after ...