Data ‘likely’ stolen in Manchester University cyberattack

Institution is ‘monitoring the dark web’ to see if copied data turns up

Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

The University of Manchester believes data was probably stolen during a cyberattack discovered last week.

The institution discovered that unauthorised users had gained access to its systems and that some data contained within has “likely been copied” by attackers.

Investigations are continuing as to what information may have been stolen, including “work with our external partners to monitor the dark web and other online sources to help us to identify if any data has been leaked”, according to a staff update.

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In an FAQ document, the organisation added that there is “no evidence” of comprise of patient data related to Manchester University NHS Trust, and “no information to suggest” that anyone’s bank were accessed during the attack, nor that the incident will affect exam results.

The Information Commissioner’s Office, the National Crime Agency, the National Cyber Security Centre, and the Office for Students have all been alerted to the incident, and the university said that it “will continue to work closely with all parties on this”

Support services are available to any staff or students that are worried, the university added.

“We know this will cause concern to members of our community and we are very sorry for this,” said a statement from chief operating officer Patrick Hackett. “Our priority is to resolve this issue and provide information to those affected as soon as we are able to, and we are focusing all available resources. You should be vigilant to any suspicious phishing emails. The NCSC has guidance for individuals advising on how to protect against the impacts of data breaches.”

Sam Trendall

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