Since the past few months, the educational sector has been a hot target of cyberattackers. Besides the infamous Blackbaud cyber incident, academic institutions have also witnessed threats of various kinds, including ransomware attacks, data theft, and espionage attacks.
Blackbaud attack and its ripple effects
The ripple effects of the data breach at Blackbaud are still visible. It has affected more than 200 institutions of renowned academic institutions across four continents.
- Recently, various educational institutions including Kent State University, DePaul University, confirmed being impacted in the Blackbaud attack.
- At the beginning of August, the University of Texas at Austin, Boy Scouts of America, the Texas Tech Foundation also notified victims about being impacted.
Several other ransomware have been targeting various universities, schools or other organizations in the educational sector
- Dopplepaymer Ransomware - Royal Military College Of Canada
- NetWalker - Columbia College Chicago, University of California
- Unknown or undisclosed ransomware - Ponca City Public Schools, Imperial Valley College
Targeted APT attacks
Between May and July, the Russian advanced persistent threat group APT29 attempted to steal coronavirus related research and intellectual property from governments, universities, private companies, and researchers to steal coronavirus related research secrets.
Other incidents and threats
There have been several additional types of cyberattacks targeting educational institutions in the past few months.
- Organizations including Jefferson Parish Schools, Coastal Prep Academy, Sheldon Independent School District, etc. are few organizations that faced incidents related to breach of personal data.
- Rochester City School District witnessed a Zoom bombing attack during a parent forum virtual meeting for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Michigan State University was a target of web skimming attacks by hackers who had stolen the credit card and personal information of thousands of users from its online store.
Hackers are probably minting on the fact that the education sector is an under performer when it comes to security against cyber threats. In wake of this reent incidents, it becomes even more important for universities to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from all kinds of cyberattacks.