Cyber attack on unis likely industrial espionage: Experts


Experts warn that intellectual property theft aside, there might also be personal data leaks, depending on the type of research materials the hackers could have gained access to.
Experts warn that intellectual property theft aside, there might also be personal data leaks, depending on the type of research materials the hackers could have gained access to.PHOTO: REUTERS

They say the hackers were probably looking for sensitive research or valuable patents

The Iranian hacker group that infiltrated 52 staff accounts at four local universities was probably looking for sensitive research or valuable patents, said cybersecurity experts, noting that such syndicates focus on varsities with strong reputations.

"If you are looking for ground-breaking research to steal, it makes sense to target the smartest countries," said Mr David Maciejak, cybersecurity firm Fortinet's security research director, responding to news that institutions here had been hit as part of a four-year-long university hacking campaign. "It's not the first time Singapore research institutions are targeted and it will not be the last."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2018, with the headline 'Cyber attack on unis likely industrial espionage: Experts'. Print Edition | Subscribe