Cyber-attack on the University of Northampton
The University of Northampton has experienced a cyber incident that was most likely triggered by a ransomware attack. However, university officials explained that the outage was triggered by a cyber-attack, although they did not identify the attack as a ransomware variant.
According to reliable sources, the attack occurred on March 17, 2021, halting all IT, telephone, and server contact.
What spokesperson of the University says?
A University spokesman said, "We can confirm that on March 17, the university detected a cyber-attack, which resulted in an outage of our IT, telephone, and server networks."
“We are collaborating with specialist experts, including legal counsel and IT forensics analysts, to review and address this problem as soon as possible. They are determining the effect and consulting on the necessary remedial measures. The situation's full details have yet to be identified, and we will provide more detail as soon as we can,” he added.
The spokesman also said that they have notified the Information Commissioner's Office as a precautionary measure (ICO). “As a precaution, we've contacted the Information Commissioner's Office, and we're working with the police to investigate this assault further. To assist students and teachers, a variety of temporary workaround strategies are being implemented.”
What the University of Northampton’s student says?
The student, who asked to remain anonymous, described how students at the university are currently feeling.
"Students are worried about missing deadlines, not having enough money, and not being able to attend online lectures," they explained. Furthermore, there is a distinct sense of dissatisfaction. The university appeared to keep it a secret for as long as possible, and students who were concerned about their bank accounts, personal information, or future submissions received very little help from the university.
Some students have had to figure out how to get lecturer phone numbers and connect them to their Facebook accounts. Others have been advised that their deadlines cannot be extended and that they must ‘work around' the situation.
"At the same time, since the email system is down, lecturers are unable to access and label any online applications, or even have students send work to them."
"We understand that the university does not want to reveal all of its plans for security reasons, but we would appreciate some kind of alternative learning mechanism as deadline day approaches."
What Northamptonshire police say?
A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police stated that the force is assisting the university and collaborating with the National Cyber Security Centre to investigate the cyber-attack. She said, "Enquiries are ongoing."
How to avoid these similar attacks in the future?
Ransomware is a form of malware attack that has been around for a long time. Its first incarnation, known as AIDS Trojan, was recorded in the late 1980s. This ransomware variant spread quickly by the use of now outdated floppy discs due to a lack of proper information about how to prevent ransomware attacks at the time. Victims are required to pay the ransom by sending it to a Panamanian post office box. With the development of payment methods, ransomware developers now demand that victims submit payment through cryptocurrency exchanges, which are difficult to detect by security agencies.
Ransomware, like other malicious malware, infiltrates a victim's device through a security hole found in compromised or obsolete software, or the victim was unwittingly tricked into installing the malware to his computer. Ransomware writers are known to employ a number of well-crafted ransomware attack schemes, necessitating increased vigilance when browsing the internet.
Nobody can argue that ransomware attacks are inconvenient and can cost you a lot of money. To avoid data loss and not becoming a target of these cybercriminals, you must have at least basic cybersecurity defense skills, such as how to effectively avoid ransomware attacks. Learn more on how to prevent a ransomware attack?
The University of Northampton has experienced a cyber incident that was most likely triggered by a ransomware attack. However, university officials explained that the outage..