Students and staff suspected of hacks
STUDENTS AND staff could be responsible for cyber attacks on universities and colleges, according to security analysis by a Government-funded agency.
Jisc, which provides universities and colleges with digital support across the UK, say the timings of cyber attacks indicate organised criminals may not always be behind attempts to hack networks of educational institutions.
The organisation said data from the past 12 months showed that attacks peaked during term time, and dropped dramatically during holiday periods over summer, Christmas, Easter and half terms. These included DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, which aim to flood networks with traffic to crash computer systems.
“This pattern could indicate that attackers are students or staff, or others familiar with the academic cycle,” said John Chapman, head of Jisc’s security operations centre.
Some attacks started at around 9am, before finishing up between 3pm and 4pm, further fuelling the theory that it could be someone within the universities. In the last academic year, Jisc recorded more than 840 attacks on 189 universities and colleges, an increase on 2016/17, when 139 institutions were attacked 578 times.