Cyber Attackers Continue Threatening Education and Healthcare Organizations

The recent cyber attacks on Bluefield University and University Urology highlight the increasing risk of cybercrime targeting organizations in the education and healthcare industries.

As organizations become more reliant on technology for storing and processing data, they must remain vigilant and invest in comprehensive cybersecurity measures to protect themselves and the individuals they serve from the constantly evolving threat of cybercrime.

Cyberattack Hits Bluefield University, AvosLocker Demands Ransom for 1.2 Terabytes of Stolen Data

Bluefield University, located in Virginia, has been hit by an attack that has caused significant disruptions to internet services.

A “RamAlert” text sent to students, faculty, and staff on Monday warned that AvosLocker had hacked the university network and taken 1.2 terabytes of files, including admission data from thousands of students.

The attackers threatened to publish this information on the dark web if the university’s president refused to pay them. They did not mention the ransom amount but said they would continue attacking until they received payment.

The FBI has classified AvosLocker as ransomware and issued an advisory warning that it has targeted various critical infrastructure industries in the US, such as finance, manufacturing, and government facilities.

The university has engaged third-party cybersecurity experts to investigate and resolve the issue. The university stated that it might take days to restore full functionality, but so far, there is no evidence of information being used for fraud or theft.

While two students expressed concerns about their personal information being leaked, they were optimistic about the university’s response. Bluefield University has said that its myBU and Canvas websites are safe to use, and final exams have been postponed by one day.

University Urology of New York Discloses Data Breach Affecting Over 56K Patients

University Urology (UU) of New York has also disclosed a breach. The clinical center claimed to have detected suspicious activity within its network on or about February 1, 2023. As reported to Health and Human Services (HHS), the breach affected 56,816 patients.

University Urology found that an unauthorized threat actor had gained access to its protected health information, which includes various personal details such as full names, addresses, birthdates, credentials including password and/or security questions, billing details, as well as medical information including diagnosis, treatment, and tests, prescriptions, and numbers of health insurance policy, subscriber identification, and health plan beneficiary.

There have been no further reports of attacks involving these compromised data, and University Urology claims that it is not aware of any attempts to misuse data.

University Urology provided affected patients with two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft restoration services to address the issue. The clinic has also taken steps to mitigate the impact of the breach, such as creating backups, limiting access to authorized personnel, resetting passwords, and removing tools and files that could pose a security risk.

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