Ransomware Attacks Targeting UK’s Education Sector Increased, says NCSC

Ransomware Attacks Targeting UK’s Education Sector Increased, says NCSC

According to the warning by GCHQ's cybersecurity arm, NCSC, there has been a substantial spike in the number of ransomware attacks targeting education sector over the last month, just as schools were getting ready to resume in-person classes. 

Ransomware attacks on the UK education sector have been on the rise, according to a new report. This includes developments seen in August and September 2020, along with attacks that have occurred since February 2021. It also offers mitigation recommendations to help in the defense of this sector. 

According to the report, senior leaders must recognize the magnitude of the threat and the ability of the ransomware to cause serious harm to their organisations in terms of information exposure and access to important services. 

Ransomware encrypts servers and files, making it impossible for businesses to provide services. Cyber criminals are anticipating that the need for schools and colleges to provide instruction would lead to target organisations succumbing to extortion requests and paying a bitcoin ransom in return for the decryption key required to recover the network. More importantly, cyber criminals have begun to warn that if the ransom is not paid, they will disclose confidential data taken from the network during the attack. Many elevated cases have arisen in which cyber criminals have carried out their attacks by exposing confidential data to the public, mostly via darknet's “name and shame” websites. 

"In recent incidents affecting the education sector, ransomware has led to the loss of student coursework, school financial records, as well as data relating to COVID-19 testing," the agency said. 

Ransomware attacks can be crippling to businesses, taking a considerable period of ..