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Security testers breach university cyber defences in two hours
More than 50 universities in the UK have had their lack of cyber defences exposed, with security testers breaching their systems in under two hours. The tests were conducted by Jisc, the agency that provides Internet services to the UK’s universities and research centres. The organization’s penetration testers were successful in every attempt, accessing personal data of students and staff, finance systems and research networks. Universities vulnerable to spear phishing. Jisc’s report on the tests revealed that the ethical hackers’ most effective method was spear phishing. These are highly targeted scam emails that are sent to senior personnel in an organization. The hackers claim to be a trusted source, such as a colleague or a third party, and attempt to lure the victim into clicking a link or downloading an attachment that contains malware. John Chapman, the head of Jisc’s security operations centre, warned that the vulnerabilities could be a sign of an impending “disastrous data breach or network outage”.
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