One of world’s leading universities in London was victim to a significant cyberattack.
University College London (UCL) is one of London’s leading multidisciplinary universities. The attack targeted the institution’s IT systems, shared drives and management systems, affecting over 35,000 students and 11,000 staff.
The ransomware attack started appearing through phishing emails. UCL email system of both students and staff were infected with links and attachments as the anti-virus was unable to detect it. Once the email and its attachments were opened, the local and shared drivers were targeted, compromised and encrypted.
UCL is unable to access the system and specific files. Shared network drives were locked by the UCL’s Information Services Division.
They also released the following statement ““It is vital we all maintain a high level of vigilance when opening unexpected emails. If the email is unexpected or in any way suspicious then you must not open any attachment or follow any link in the email. Doing so may lead to loss of your data and very substantial disruption to the university.”
In order to avoid the negative consequences of ransomware, such as losing important files, preventing detecting and responding to security breaches in information technology system quickly is vital. Ensuring individual access to websites is secure and only opening attachments from trustworthy and known sources – is a good preventative measure. It is both the responsibility of the individual and the business to prevent these attacks and address them quickly and effectively.