Tuesday, 5 September 2017

On 05:14 by admin   1 comment
Hundreds of cybersecurity attacks are being launched on British universities every year, it emerged last night.

Successful attacks on prestigious universities, including Oxford, University College London and Warwick have doubled in the last two years.
Experts fear the criminals are accessing the sensitive data, which could include military and medical research, to sell onto foreign powers.
Freedom of Information figures showed there were 1,152 security breaches in 2016-17 as well as thousands more thwarted attempts.

One university said it received between 1,000 and 10,000 attempted attacks each month, the Times reported.

Data revealed the University of Oxford had experienced 515 cases of unauthorised access to accounts last year while UCL faced 57 cyberattacks in 2016-17.

Targeted files are thought to include new batteries and fuels and 'stealth fabric' – which helps 'disguise' military weapons and vehicles – but also university hospital medical records.

Carsten Maple, head of computing and director of cyber security at Warwick University, said hackers were targeting intellectual property that had been years in the making.

'If someone can get that very quickly, that's good for them,' Mr Maple, also chairman of Britain's council of professors, said.
'Certainly somebody might attack a university and then provide that information to a nation state.'

He was also concerned that too little was being done to strengthen defences against the cyber-physical attacks, which can target areas like hospital heating and management systems.

Earlier this year, the head of GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre said Britain had faced 188 high-level security attacks in three months.
Ciaran Martin said 'many of which threatened national security' and tried to hack foreign policy and defence secrets.

A large number of successful attacks used ransomware, which demands money to be paid while software is blocked.

Commenting on the latest figures, Shadow Home Office minister, Louise Haigh said more investment was needed

She said: 'There should be no compromise on cybersecurity but in difficult financial times many public sector organisations are being left with outdated operating systems.'

A spokesman for the National Cyber Security Centre said organisations needed to ensure their security defences were robust.

He said: 'We can't do this alone.'

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