Recently, the website of the Saginaw Valley State University suffered security breach. Attackers allegedly attempted to use the University network for proliferating spam e-mails. The University suffered a similar breach few years back. Preliminary investigations have not revealed any breach of personal, academic or financial information. Information security professionals of the University are investigating the attack. The security professionals are working to restore the website. Attackers allegedly used a website of an unnamed student organization to intrude into Universitys website. The attacks were reportedly launched from computers based in Eastern Europe.
Fortunately, the student databases were kept on a different server and prevented disclosure of sensitive information related to students. Security professionals are installing an updated content management system. The new content management system would allow redesigning of the website with improved security features and safe access points.
Usually, websites are targeted to gain unauthorized access to databases containing privileged information. In recent times, attackers have targeted websites of several universities. Student databases may include details such as name, home addresses, date of birth, e-mail addresses, contact numbers, photograph, social security number, enrolment number and courses registered. Attackers may use the extracted information for creating fake identities and applying for student loans. In this case, the attackers attempted to gain control of the servers to initiate spam attacks. Successful attacks could have caused misuse of University e-mail accounts for spreading spam.
Cyber security has become one of the top priorities for organizations worldwide.
As such, Universities and educational institutions may enlighten the staff on threats in the cyberspace through workshops and security awareness training programs.
Human error and negligence are one of the primary causes for security breaches. IT faculty members may design elearning programs to create awareness on different types of Internet-based threats among the students of educational institutions.
The growing number of security breaches and cybercrime incidents has resulted in increased demand for cyber security experts in business organizations, government and military bodies, scientific institutions and banking and financial institutions among many others. Educational institutions may contribute to the cyber talent of the nation by introducing IT security introduction courses in the school curriculum at an early level.