IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Hackers are targeting the education sector

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

cloud technology for education

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.

Featured Resources

AI for customer service

IBM Watson Assistant solves customer problems the first time

View now

Solve cyber resilience challenges with storage solutions

Fundamental capabilities of cyber-resilient IT infrastructure

Free Download

IBM FlashSystem 5000 and 5200 for mid-market enterprises

Manage rapid data growth within limited IT budgets

Free download

Leverage automated APM to accelerate CI/CD and boost application performance

Constant change to meet fast-evolving application functionality

Free Download

Recommended

Technology reimagined
Whitepaper

Technology reimagined

12 May 2022
Meeting the future of education with confidence
Whitepaper

Meeting the future of education with confidence

12 May 2022
Education redefined
Whitepaper

Education redefined

12 May 2022
Gamification for accelerated EdTech growth
Whitepaper

Gamification for accelerated EdTech growth

26 Apr 2022

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

15 Nov 2022
The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers
Security

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers

14 Nov 2022
Windows users now able to run Linux apps and distros natively
Microsoft Windows

Windows users now able to run Linux apps and distros natively

24 Nov 2022