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The University of Sunderland cyberattack situation remains ongoing, with a significant amount of their IT and infrastructure grinding to a halt as a result of the problems caused.
Your Lawyers – as Leading Data Leak Lawyers – are used to seeing these kinds of incidents. We are also used to representing people claiming data breach compensation from events like this, and we have successfully recovered damages for victims affected by university data breaches.
Whilst we do not know the extent of what information – if any – has been compromised in this incident, if there are victims whose right to privacy has been breached, we may be able to help.
It is understood that the University of Sunderland cyberattack remains an ongoing issue. It has been hit by what seems to be a significant cyberattack, and there has been a direct impact on the ability for the university to provide some of its services for students.
It is understood that the cyberattack has brought down IT systems, bringing online resources as well as their telephone systems to a halt. The matter has been in the hands of the police and other relevant authorities to try to resolve the situation since last week.
At present, it remains unknown as to whether any data has been exposed. The website for the university is still not fully operational, citing “extensive technical issues” as the cause of the problem.
It is understood that the University of Sunderland cyberattack, which has been described as a “major” event, is still causing disruption in the week after it is understood to have begun. Whilst the University remains hopeful that they will be able to get their systems back up and running sooner rather than later, it is worrying that it is still going on for so long.
We know that universities are a prime target for cybercriminals, as they store and process a significant amount of very personal and sensitive information. This can include the usual contact details for students and staff, and also payment and financial information for paying staff and for student fees. It can also include medical, domestic and disability data (that can fall within special category information) to meet the needs of students.
But in addition to this, universities can also be targets for foreign and state-sponsored cyberattacks. It is worth remembering that a great deal of research takes place at universities, and it can be this kind of information that some threat actors are targeting. In the process of trying to steal such information, other personal data can get caught in the crossfire and can be exposed.
Given that they are clear targets, it is vital for universities to be properly protected. Some have been seen as soft targets in the past, and we would not be surprised if this was the case here. Whilst we do not know the extent of how well protected they were, it will be important to get to the bottom of this in the investigations that should follow this incident.
Ultimately, if more could – and should – have been done to have protected information, tough questions must be asked. In fact, given that this is not the first attack that they have been targeted in, we would be concerned if lessons had not been learned from prior events.
At present, we do not know whether any personal information has been exposed or not in the University of Sunderland cyberattack. If it transpires that it has, or if you have been the victim of any kind of data breach, we may be able to help you.
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