Jisc, which provides universities and colleges with digital support across the UK, say the timings of cyber attacks indicate organised criminals may not always be behind attempts to hack networks of educational institutions. The Evening Express reports.
The organisation said data from the past 12 months showed that attacks peaked during term time, and dropped dramatically during holiday periods over summer, Christmas, Easter and half terms.
“This pattern could indicate that attackers are students or staff, or others familiar with the academic cycle,” said John Chapman, head of Jisc’s security operations centre.
“Or perhaps the bad guys simply take holidays at the same time as the education sector.”
Some attacks started at around 9am, before finishing up between 3pm and 4pm, further fuelling the theory that it could be someone within the universities.
Motivation for cyber attacks on universities is unclear, but Dr Chapman speculates it may be students looking to cause chaos for fun or a disgruntled member of staff.
In the last academic year, Jisc recorded more than 840 attacks on 189 universities and colleges, an average increase on 2016/17, when 139 institutions were attacked 578 times.
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