When you think about sophisticated cyberattacks, certain targeted industries probably come to mind immediately — government, critical infrastructure, and financial services, to name a few. It’s fair to say that for most people, the education sector isn’t generally first on that list.
Despite this, educational institutions (particularly those in higher education) have become an increasingly popular target for cyberattacks. Generally, these fall into two categories: espionage and financially-motivated attacks.
A War on 2 Fronts
Many countries have an interest in industrial and scientific espionage — China and Iran are particularly common culprits — and attacking universities is a logical way to conduct it. Universities are often involved in cutting-edge research, and many partner with companies to develop valuable innovations. These universities, as well as those housing well-known research institutes, are particularly attractive targets for state-sponsored espionage.
Source: Recorded Future