Hackers are targeting the education sector

The health care industry isn’t the only one falling prey to hackers during the coronavirus pandemic

Hackers are turning their attention to the education sector during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Cyware.

The coronavirus has created a virtual playground for malicious hackers. From those leveraging contract-tracing to dupe their victims to the reappearance of Zloader malware in coronavirus-related phishing campaigns, hackers have stopped at nothing to use the pandemic to their advantage. 

While governments have urged them to stop their actions, particularly those targeting the health care industry, these malicious actors remain committed to their nefarious ways. Unfortunately for the education sector, this has led to a barrage of unfortunate cyber attacks.

The education sector has become an attractive target for threat actors, according to Cyware. In a time when schools are cutting budgets nationwide, many districts have had difficulty investing in cyber security tools to prevent ransomware attacks.

Plus, students are no stranger to risky online behavior, giving hackers another means to infiltrate a school’s network. Throw in a pandemic and remote schooling, and the education sector becomes even easier to target. 

Ransomware has gained quite the foothold in the education sector too, as it’s responsible for 80% of malware-related incidents in the education sector, per Verizon’s analysis.

A number of schools worldwide have already fallen prey to these attacks. In March, Wichita State University notified its students of a security incident that led to “unauthorized access to a computer server that WSU used to operate various student and employee web portals.” At the time, the university estimated up to 1,762 individuals were impacted by the incident.

In May, the University of Corsica notified its students of a similar incident. In this event, hackers gained access to the school’s network, paralyzing it in exchange for a ransom. 

While these attacks could be combated, doing so is easier said than done. Most schools lack team members dedicated to cybersecurity, according to Keith R. Krueger, chief executive of the Consortium for School Networking.

Additionally, many schools can’t keep up to date on the latest hacking techniques and trends. Unfortunately, until the education sector invests in proper cybersecurity measures, hackers will continue to wreak havoc on their systems.

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