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Universities besieged by cyber criminals

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Cyber crooks are successfully hacking into the UK’s universities at will, according to the Times.

Using a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the paper found that over 1,152 intrusions into uni networks were recorded in 2016-17.

Naturally, it’s a slightly better class of criminal going after educational institutions. Rather than just using ransomware for a quick pay out, uni hackers additionally go after things like research into defence technologies, new fuels and advanced battery architecture.

Warwick, University College London and Oxford have all been on the end of recent attempts to pinch their research data.

According to the Times, the digital thieves are either after data to sell on, or are working on behalf of foreign powers.

Speaking to the Times, the University of Warwick’s director of cyber-security, Carsten Maple, said: ‘Universities drive forward a lot of the research and development in the UK. Intellectual property takes years of knowhow and costs a lot. If someone can get that very quickly, that’s good for them.’

Mr Maple added that UK universities need to tighten up their cyber security – as well he might, it’s in his job description.

The FOI revealed that some institutions were attacked over 1,000 times a month, with techniques such as phishing, ransomware and denial-of-service attacks.

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