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Cyber News Rundown: Ransomware sets sights on higher ed with attack on Howard

  • 10 September 2021
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Cyber News Rundown: Ransomware sets sights on higher ed with attack on Howard
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Howard University temporarily shut down and cancelled classes following a ransomware attack, though no student data was compromised. In other cybersecurity news, the Dallas School District suffered a data breach exposing over ten years of student and staff data.

Ransomware cancels classes at Howard University

Following a ransomware attack, Howard University cancelled many online and the physical university is closed to all non-essential staff and students while they work to restore functionality. Fortunately, the IT staff had several security protocols in place that allowed them to identify the attack early enough that they believe no student or staff information was compromised. They’re currently working quickly to get classes back to normal.

Covid relief fraudsters on the run in California

A California couple used dozens of fake and stolen identities over the last few months to obtain over $21 million dollars of Covid-19 relief funds and employment relief. But while waiting to receive their final sentencing in October, they removed their ankle monitors and have gone on the run from authorities. They’ve been charged with bank and wire fraud, as well as aggravated identity theft for obtaining and creating highly sensitive personal documentation. The Los Angeles FBI office has put out a tweet and is hoping that someone has some information on the whereabouts of these two individuals.

Dallas school district suffers major data breach

The Dallas Independent School District, one of the largest school districts in the US, announced they suffered a data breach affecting a decade’s worth of students and staff. While district officials are still working out the details, it is believed that an unauthorized user gained access to a highly sensitive database containing social security numbers, and other personally identifiable information on hundreds of thousands of people. The district is contacting all affected persons and is offering credit and identity monitoring services for up to a year.

McDonald’s Monopoly VIP database leaked to winners

A bug was discovered in McDonald’s recently relaunched Monopoly VIP contest system that has been sending login credentials for the game’s database in all of the winning contest emails. This issue was fortunately found quickly, and the administrators of the affected servers have successfully updated the credentials, resolved the bug and have confirmed that no customer data was exposed.

French Visa office exposes applicant data

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement addressing the cyberattack on the French Visa office that exposed the highly sensitive visa information of 8,700 applicants. The France-Visas website was the original attack vector and was quickly compromised and it’s been revealed it had yet to implement full GDPR privacy standards. These standards are mandatory for banks and healthcare organizations who could suffer similar attacks.


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