University of Manchester says its data was ‘likely duplicated’ in cyber attack | Science and technology news
The University of Manchester said a cyber attack on its computer systems “probably involved data copying”.
It’s not yet clear what information the attackers accessed, but staff and students have been advised to watch out for suspicious emails.
The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) and the National Crime Agency are among the agencies working with the university’s own experts to solve the incident.
A statement said: “We are working to understand what data was accessed and will update you as soon as more information becomes available.”
The university has apologized to its community for the violation, which is being investigated.
“Our priority is to resolve this issue and inform those affected as soon as possible and we are pooling all available resources,” it said.
The university and NCSC have warned anyone potentially affected to be “vigilant” about phishing emails, a common tactic used by cybercriminals to scam people.
How to recognize a fraudulent email
While they may look legitimate at first glance, watch out for things that include slightly different email addresses (like numbers replacing visually similar letters in the domain name), misspellings, and odd formatting.
If you have any suspicions, do not click on any links in the email.
Muhammad Yahya Patel, chief security engineer at Check Point Software, said the incident shows the importance of universities having a “robust” cybersecurity strategy.
“The education sector is a strong target for cyberattacks because of the value and amount of data stored there,” he said.
“Unfortunately, less is often invested in education to underpin a sound cybersecurity strategy.”
He added: “The advice given so far has been limited, but I would be cautious about continuing as usual until the university can be confident that there are no more open entry points.”
Cyber attacks on the UK are on the rise
The incident came amid a spate of cyberattacks on British institutions and businesses this year. including BBC, Boots and British Airways (BA); which followed the targeting of Royal Mail, WH SmithAnd JD Sports.
Many of the attacks have been linked to Russia. The BBC, Boots and BA breach was committed by cyber gang Clop.
Brett Callow, an analyst at cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, described it as “potentially one of the most serious breaches in years.”
British companies were asked to do so last month Improve your cyber security to protect the country from “ideologically motivated and not financially motivated” enemies who have begun targeting the UK.