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Universities the Target of Ransomware

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Bournemouth University has been hit 21 times in the past 12 months by ransomware attacks, despite boasting a cybersecurity centre.

In addition, a Freedom of Information request indicates that twenty-eight NHS trusts have also been affected.

Ransomware targets the user by encrypting information and then demanding a ransom for its release.

Bournemouth University confirmed that it had come under attack but suggested it was not uncommon for universities to be the target of cybersecurity attacks and that their security processes are able to deal with this type of incident.

Of the 71 UK universities contacted by the cybersecurity firm SentinelOne, 28 replied saying that they had been attacked in the past year. Although none are understood to have paid a ransom the largest value demanded by the hackers was around £2,200.

Data from the US government indicates that the number of ransomware attacks are on the rise. In the United States the number of attacks increased by 300% year on year in 2016, with around 4,000 incidents a day now being reported.