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Hackers Breach University of Manchester; School Says Attackers Likely Copied Data


June 12, 2023

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Hackers Breach University of Manchester; School Says Attackers Likely Copied Data

The University of Manchester has issued a breach notice to inform members of the community that hackers accessed its systems and likely copied data.

“Regrettably, I have to share with you the news that the University is the victim of a cyber incident,” Registrar Patrick Hackett said Friday June 9 in a notice on the uni website.

“It has been confirmed that some of our systems have been accessed by an unauthorised party and data have likely been copied,” Hacket wrote. “Our in-house experts and established expert external support are working around the clock to resolve this incident. We are working to understand what data have been accessed and will update you as more information becomes available.”

The university is working with the Information Commissioner’s Office, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the National Crime Agency and other regulators to contain the incident.

In a press statement, Hackett said the school is focusing on “all available resources” to respond appropriately, apologizing that details are scarce at this point.

Staff members are advised “not to download files from University systems in order to back them up,” likely to stem any potential spread of malware.

While the announcement doesn’t name any specific hacking group or malware used in the attack, the incident bears the telltale signs of a ransomware attack.

An FAQ accompanying the announcement tells community members to watch out for suspicious communications, such as phishing attempts.

Students and staff are told there’s nothing they need to do at this point, and that they don’t need to change any login information, such as passwords, yet.

“However it may be something that we ask you to do in the near future,” according to the FAQ.

There is currently no information to suggest any bank details have been accessed. Those who are nonetheless concerned that this is a possibility are instructed to contact their bank’s fraud team for advice.

The university is now working with external experts to identify any other breaches and prevent further unauthorised access, the school said.

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection lets you instantly find out if your data has leaked in a breach, what type of information was compromised, what risks you face, and whether your information is for sale on the dark web.




Filip has 15 years of experience in technology journalism. In recent years, he has turned his focus to cybersecurity in his role as Information Security Analyst at Bitdefender.

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