Stu­dents and staff sus­pected of hacks

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

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.

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