14 UK schools fall victim to major cyber attack
A number of confidential documents including children’s passport scans and staff contracts have been leaked from 14 UK schools following a major data breach.
The data was stolen last year with hacking group Vice Society thought to be involved, yet the documents have only now been leaked after the schools failed to adhere to the ransom demands set out.
According to the BBC, Vice Society has been behind a high-profile string of attacks on schools across the UK and the USA in recent months. The FBI in America has already released an alert on the group’s activities.
Data obtained carried sensitive information such as children’s SEN information, staff contract details, bursary fund receipts and children’s passport scans.
Achi Lewis, area VP EMEA for Absolute Software, commented on the attack and said that the education sector is a “lucrative target” for malicious cyber-criminals due to the large volume of sensitive data stored on school and university systems.
“As a result, ransomware attacks are a case of when, not if, which demands educational institutions to ensure they are prepared to both prevent and respond to these attacks, else they risk having documents stolen and leaked,” he said.
Lewis added that the schools must ensure they have response protocols in place to deal with potential cyber threats, or risk spending years recovering from their attacks.
Schools involved include Carmel College; Durham Johnston Comprehensive School; Frances King School of English; Gateway College; Holy Family RC + CE College; Lampton School; Mossbourne Federation; Pilton Community College; Samuel Ryder Academy; School of Oriental and African Studies; St Paul’s Catholic College; Test Valley School; The De Montford School.
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