Global hackers steal student data from six UK universities

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Hackers stole data from students at six UK universities in a global cyberattack targeting US cloud computer provider Blackbaud.

Blackbaud paid the hacker an undisclosed ransom after being promised that all data – including phone numbers and donation history in some cases – was destroyed.

The South Carolina-based company said the ransomware hacker “did not have access to credit card information, bank account information, or social security numbers.”

The attack – which also hit a Canadian university and a US design school – happened in May, but was not addressed publicly until this month.

Hackers have stolen data from students at six UK universities (including the University of Leeds, pictured) in a global cyberattack targeting US-based cloud computing provider Blackbaud

Blackbaud paid the hacker an undisclosed ransom after being promised that all data - including phone numbers and donation history in some cases - was destroyed. Pictured: York University was one of the institutions affected

Blackbaud paid the hacker an undisclosed ransom after being promised that all data – including phone numbers and donation history in some cases – was destroyed. Pictured: York University was one of the institutions affected

The South Carolina-based company said the ransomware hacker `` did not have access to credit card information, bank account information or social security numbers '' of students at universities, including Reading ( Photo)

The South Carolina-based company said the ransomware hacker “did not have access to credit card information, bank account information or social security numbers” of college students, including Reading (pictured)

York University, Oxford Brookes University, Loughborough University, University of London, University of Leeds and University of Reading apologize to students, faculty and donors for this violation.

Ambrose University in Canada and the Rhode Island School of Design in America have also been affected – as have Human Rights Watch and the charity Young Minds, reports BBC News.

A statement on the company’s website read: “After discovering the attack, our cybersecurity team – along with independent forensics and law enforcement experts – succeeded in preventing the cybercriminal from blocking access to our system and fully encrypt files; and ultimately kicked them out of our system.

“Before locking down the cybercriminal, the cybercriminal deleted a copy of a subset of data from our self-hosted environment.

The attack - which also hit a Canadian university and a US design school - happened in May, but was not addressed publicly until this month. Pictured: Oxford Brookes University was one of those affected

The attack – which also hit a Canadian university and a US design school – happened in May, but was not addressed publicly until this month. Pictured: Oxford Brookes University was one of those affected

“The cybercriminal did not gain access to credit card information, bank account information or social security numbers.

“Because protecting our customers’ data is our top priority, we paid for the cybercriminal’s request by confirming that the copy they deleted had been destroyed.

The FBI, National Crime Agency, and Europol generally advise against paying what the hacker demands.

York University, Oxford Brookes University, Loughborough University, University of London (pictured), University of Leeds and University of Reading apologize to students, faculty and scholars donors for violation

York University, Oxford Brookes University, Loughborough University, University of London (pictured), University of Leeds and University of Reading apologize to students, faculty and scholars donors for violation

The statement added: “Based on the nature of the incident, our research and the investigation of a third party (including law enforcement), we have no reason to believe that any data went beyond the cybercriminal, was or will be misused; or will be disseminated or otherwise made public. “

One of the alumni involved, Rhys Morgan, a cybersecurity specialist, said: “My main concern is how reassuring Blackbaud has been – impossible in my opinion – for the university about what the hackers got. . ‘

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