Guest post: UC System Cybersecurity Attack

UC System Cybersecurity Attack

One of the consequences of failing to incorporate cybersecurity measures in your organization is a data leak. Data leaks don’t only ruin the credibility of an organization, but they can also result in huge losses. The University of California was recently attacked by hackers who exploited a vulnerability in its file-transfer service.

The Aftermath Of UC’s Cybersecurity Attack

After a cyberattack targeting the file transfer service at the UC headquarters, personal employee data was accessed and leaked to the public. Several UC Berkeley email accounts received messages that their personal data had been tapped into and leaked. An investigation into the incident found that the messages were linked to a public site with personal data from UC employees.

The data was accessed through an attack involving vulnerability in a file transfer service. Several other universities, private companies, and government agencies were also attacked. UCOP stated that the criminals were threatening to expose the stolen data on the dark web in a UC-wide email. These threats are attempts to ask for ransom payments. UCOP has advised employees to report any emails that are threatening to expose their personal data.

The stolen information includes names, telephone numbers, bank account information, and social security numbers. The information is for UC employees, their dependents, beneficiaries, and any individuals connected to UC. The UC has pledged one-year access to “Experian Identity Works,” a service that protects against identity theft and credit monitoring. The service helps restore stolen identities and also searches for activities involving personal data on the dark web.

People who have subscribed to the service receive messages that their sensitive information has been spotted on the dark web. During the same week, UC employees learned that ‘Health Net,’ their health insurance provider, had experienced a similar incident.

What You Should Know About Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity involves securing your computer, devices, and networks from hackers. Cybersecurity is also known as IT security. The main types of cybersecurity measures include application security, network security, operational security, and disaster recovery.

Application security involves securing your systems by identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals often look for compromised applications and use them to penetrate into networks and steal corporate data. Network security protects your networks against intrusions. One of the ways you secure your networks is by using anti-virus programs and firewalls.

Operational security is a process for protecting data, including employee and customer information, product research, financial statements, and intellectual property. This form of security identifies important corporate data and looks for any threats to crucial information. Operational security is also used to evaluate the level of risk and plan how to respond to those risks. Disaster recovery is meant to restore your business after it has experienced a cyberattack. It also involves implementing a plan to make sure processes run smoothly after a data breach.

Little-Know Cyber Security Threats

Apart from social engineering, phishing, spyware, malware, and ransomware, there are other types of cybersecurity threats. Some little-known cybersecurity threats include Man in the Middle (MITM), Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), Distributed Denial of Services, Adware, and SQL Injections.

Man in the Middle (MITM) is a cybersecurity threat where a hacker accesses a transaction which looks secure. This attack targets unsecured Wi-Fi systems, especially those that are available to the public. The attack can either target the host of the Wi-Fi or the device that is connecting to the unsecured Wi-Fi. On the other hand, an advanced persistent threat is a cybercrime against targets like the government and corporations. The attack occurs slowly in escalating phases.

Distributed denial of service attack is an attempt to take over and disrupt your computer system and network. The attack overwhelms your system, causing it to freeze.

Adware is like malware. However, in the case of malware, the software downloads itself through fake subscription offers and advertisements.

SQL injection involves the use of a Structured Query Language (SQL) into the server. The code makes your servers act the way the hacker wants. For example, the hacker may instruct it to release personal client information or allow access even in systems that used a two-factor authentication system.

Cyber-attacks can also take the form of rogue software and password attacks. In the case of rogue software, the hacker employs applications that are similar to anti-virus software though it is malware. The aim of the hacker is for you to download the fake software. Scammers lure you into believing you are under attack and should download anti-virus software. If you fall for the scam, you will click on the download button, and the software will penetrate your system. Password attacks involve the use of social engineering and phishing to deceive employees into giving away their passwords.

Winding Up

UC may have been a victim of password and malware attacks. The best defense against cybersecurity attacks is applying the appropriate cybersecurity measures. Simple practices like having anti-virus software, best password practices, and avoiding suspicious emails and messages can also protect you against cyberattacks.

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