Hackers from Iran are reportedly found targeting Australian Universities in order to rob valuable digital information from research work- a serious threat to national security.
According to a news post from ABC News, Australia hackers have so far targeted thousands of staff and student accounts at prominent universities to siphon data from academic journals, dissertations, and ebooks.
Reports are pouring in that the hackers have targeted seven universities so far located in every state, except the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
Professor Matt Warren from Deakin University’s Cyber Security Research segment confirmed this news and said that the hackers are indulging in such activities to gain advantages from economic and defense perspective.
Warren warned the more such attacks are imminent if the government of Australia shows a blind eye towards its cyber adversaries.
According to The New Daily, over 26 Australian Universities were targeted by hackers hailing from Mabna Institute- an organization funded by Iranian Government. The victimized universities list includes Australian National University, Queensland University of Technology, and Monash University.
A spokesperson from Monash Educational Institute confirmed the news. However, she added that the hackers did try to intercept the network, but did not gain access to any info due to the presence of robust and sophisticated networks systems having the potential to detect, protect and defend against all variants of cyber attacks.
Alex Tilley, a senior researcher from SecureWorks said that the attack took place through a phishing campaign where hackers attempted to tempt students and staff by sending an email with the fake log-in page. It’s said that hackers used over 16 domains containing 300 spoofing websites to target 76 universities located in 14 countries with fake login pages.
Sources reporting to Cybersecurity Insiders say that a hackers group named ‘Cobalt Dickens’ were behind the attack and succeeded in targeted schools in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Israel, and Turkey so far. But none from Russia were reportedly attacked.
Note- As Iran has some economic sanctions pressed against it by the United States, the government might be indulging in such black hat strategies to gain economically or politically through the cyber landscape.