The University of Greenwich has suffered its second data breach since February, The Evening Standard reports, after a disgruntled former student leaked 2.7GB of confidential student and staff data including email addresses and passwords, student grades, staff sickness and holiday details. The attacker also accessed the university’s web site, where they placed a link back to the database. Security experts commented on this news below.
Luke Brown, VP and GM of EMEA, India and LatAm at Digital Guardian:
“For organisations that handle sensitive data on a day-to-day basis, it’s easy to forget the consequences of a breach. When heavy fines are imposed and victims become targets for phishing and social engineering attacks, businesses have to learn from their mistakes and prevent them from reoccurring.
“The University of Greenwich may have plugged a few security holes after it’s breach in February, but this latest attack highlights the challenge that organisations face securing their data from a wide range of different threats and threat actors. Security experts say that it is no longer enough to focus on guarding the perimeter. If an attacker is determined enough, they will find a hole and so it is essential to protect what matters most – your sensitive data.”
Ryan O’Leary, VP Threat Research Centre at WhiteHat Security:
“SQL injection continues to be an easy avenue for hackers to cause harm or steal information from a database. According to our annual statistics report, around six per cent of websites have at least one SQL injection vulnerability. Six per cent may not seem like a large amount, but consider that six out of every 100 websites you use – that’s a staggeringly large amount – have this particularly nasty vulnerability.
“SQL injection is not the most difficult attack to execute. In fact, it’s one of the very first skills you learn when trying to attack a site, because of the prevalence of the flaw and ease of exploitation. Companies need to run a thorough vulnerability assessment and fix these critical, yet easy-to-exploit, vulnerabilities.”