Suspected Ransomware Attack on University of Sunderland

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UK based Sunderland University has become a target to a sophisticated cyber attack that is suspected to be ransomware genre. The educational institute issued an apology on Twitter and stated that all its telephone lines, email communication and website were down because of the IT disruption.

Although, an online news resource claims that the online classes taken up by the institute staff were canceled, the students and the staff members say otherwise.

The police and other law enforcement agencies were alerted about the incident by the IT staff of Sunderland University, and experts from a third party forensic firm have been hired to investigate the incident.

All security measures to avoid such embarrassing incidents in future have been taken, and the University has reassured that it will release more details as soon as the incident gets deeply probed.

Note 1- As most of the educational sector has been digitized in United Kingdom, cyber criminals are treating such institutions as easy targets. And the current situation of organizing online classes has opened up new doors for criminals as they are in constant search for endpoint network flaws that can be exploited for monetary benefits.

Note 2- In August this year, Britain-based National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a warning across UK that organizations, especially those serving educational sector, should be extremely cautious while holding online classes.

Note 3- The Cyber Arm of GCHQ is advising schools, colleges and Universities to adopt a depth filled defensive approach towards cybersecurity and is recommending them to opt for proactive measures that not only help in avoiding embarrassment in the event of a digital attack. But also assist students and staff to access various online services such as e-syllabus with no issues because of disruption.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security