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Major Australian university hacked with fears students’ data has been exposed


A major Australian university has become the victim of a cybersecurity attack, affecting major services containing students’ personal information.

Students at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) raised the alarm after experiencing issues accessing multiple services including the HiQ website, Blackboard and eStudent, and the on-campus printers.

Several printers began producing suspicious messages in bulk, with students instructed not to interact with the printers until further notice.

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The messages say the university’s system has been “hit”.

Several printers began producing suspicious messages in bulk. Credit: Supplied

“Most likely what happened was that you decided to save some money on your security,” it reads.

“Alas, as a result, your critical data was not only encrypted but also copied.

“From there it can be published online. Then anyone on the internet from darknet…and even your employees will be able to see your internal documentation.”

The message then demanded money in return for data.

Students were sent an email warning them of the cybersecurity attack. Credit: Supplied

QUT reported a cohort of 53,253 students in 2021, as well as over 4500 staff members.

In a statement, a QUT spokesperson stated the university had “experienced a cybersecurity incident today which purports to be a Royal ransomware attack”.

“As a precaution, QUT IT systems have been taken offline while investigations are completed. At this stage, our assessment is that no student or staff data has been compromised.

“Staff and students have been notified. Students wanting to accept their QTAC offer are being contacted to let them know systems are down. They will be advised when the systems are back online.

“Technical staff are currently investigating and QUT has notified the relevant agencies of the situation.”

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Source: 7News