Leading Aussie university hit by major data hack

2019-06-05 03:34:40 GMT2019-06-05 11:34:40(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CANBERRA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Australian National University (ANU) has been hit by a major data hack, with personal details of students and staff dating back 19 years compromised.

The university said in a statement that its systems were accessed illegally late in 2018 but the breach was only detected in May.

Based on the number of students to have attended ANU since 2000 and staff turnover in that time, the university estimated that approximately 200,000 people could be affected by the breach.

"We believe there was unauthorised access to significant amounts of personal staff, student and visitor data extending back 19 years," ANU vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt said in the statement.

"Depending on the information you have provided to the university, this may include names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, personal email addresses and emergency contact details, tax file numbers, payroll information, bank account details, and passport details. Student academic records were also accessed.

"We have no evidence that research work has been affected."

The university has confirmed that it is working with the government and with law enforcement agencies to investigate the attack.

Schmidt said that ANU decided to make the hack public knowledge after two weeks after protecting its system against "secondary or opportunistic attacks."

"The university has taken immediate precautions to further strengthen our IT security and is working continuously to build on these precautions to reduce the risk of future intrusion," he said.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the agency responsible for cyber security, information security and foreign signals intelligence, confirmed that the attack was the work of a sophisticated actor.

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