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2 August 2022: Deakin University announced a data breach and exposed personally identifiable information (PII), which includes names, mobile numbers and email addresses of almost 47,000 current and past students after tracing an intrusion from a hacked account of one of the institution’s staff members. Following this breach, almost 10,000 students also received spam text messages that asked for their credit card information to process customs fees on a package. This type of mobile spear phishing attack is known as ‘smishing’. The university, however, has claimed that it has already put an end to the attack from reaching more students and alumni.
Why it’s Important
The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report revealed that the education and training sector is among the top areas that have experienced cyber security incidents in 2020-2021. Some of the most notable data breaches in recent years include:
Deakin University’s case is a lesson on ensuring that a cyber security response plan is constantly reviewed to generate a quick, comprehensive response at the enterprise level with a sense of urgency. It should also reflect accountability and promote clear communication to their stakeholders. While cyber incidents never evolve according to plan, having no plan creates additional duress for decision makers in the organisation, possibly lowering the quality of their decision making.
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