Stanford University launches investigation following ransomware claims of cyberattack.

    Stanford University is actively probing a cybersecurity breach in its Department of Public Safety. The Akira ransomware gang has taken responsibility for the attack, boasting about stealing 430 gigabytes of data. In a swift response, Stanford University clarified its ongoing efforts to gauge the incident’s magnitude and its repercussions.

    Current Findings and University’s Response

    So far, Stanford’s inquiry hasn’t found any evidence suggesting the incident impacted other university sections or jeopardized emergency police actions. The university has secured the affected SUDPS system and has teamed up with external experts to ensure a comprehensive investigation. Stanford promises to share more findings once they complete the investigation.

    Akira Ransomware Gang’s Activities

    The recent ransomware attack on Stanford is one in a string of assaults by the Akira ransomware gang on US educational institutions. Active since March, this gang has set its sights on colleges and even K-12 schools. Avast and Arctic Wolf, two cybersecurity research firms, have linked the Akira group to the notorious Conti ransomware gang, known for targeting governments globally. Arctic Wolf has flagged at least 63 attack victims.

    Ransomware’s Grip on Educational Institutions

    In July, Avast unveiled a decryptor for Akira ransomware. However, this move didn’t stop the attackers. Stanford isn’t the only major educational institution under ransomware fire. Just weeks ago, a ransomware threat forced the University of Michigan to disconnect its internet.

    Previous Incidents at Stanford

    Stanford’s cybersecurity challenges aren’t new. In 2021, the Clop ransomware gang exploited a flaw in the Accellion File Transfer Appliance (FTA) software, accessing and leaking personal data, including Social Security numbers.

    In Summary

    The Akira ransomware gang has targeted Stanford University’s Department of Public Safety. As the university’s security teams collaborate with external experts to understand the attack’s full scope, this incident underscores the growing trend of ransomware threats to educational institutions. The Akira group’s ties to the Conti ransomware operation highlight the gravity of the situation. Stanford urges everyone to stay tuned for further updates on the investigation.

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