Breaking News: FIU Student and Faculty Information Allegedly Leaked in Cyberattack

Screenshot of Brett Callow’s tweet about the cyberattack.

Samuel Larreal / Contributing Writer

1.5 terabytes of FIU student and faculty information was allegedly leaked today, Apr. 8, at 1:33 p.m. in a cyberattack by criminal group Alphv, according to Brett Callow, threat analyst at cybersecurity firm and software developer Emsisoft.

This information has not yet been confirmed by the Division of IT at FIU, according to FIUPD Chief Alexander Casas.

According to Callow, the AlphV hacker group took responsibility for FIU’s data breach on the dark web – a collection of encrypted networks that require specific configurations to access.

By using the ransomware BlackCat, AlphV claimed they were able to access student and faculty personal data. 

The data would include social security numbers, contacts, financial documents and other personal information. Email and Structured Query Language (SQL) databases were also part of the cyberattack.

“What happens in these cases is that the gangs steal the data, then they try to encrypt the target network,” said Callow in a phone call with PantherNOW. “The encryption doesn’t always succeed; it can be blocked by security products the organization has in place…But, again, they have [FIU’s] data.”

Hacked data is susceptible to be sold by the hackers or used to hack future targets.

AlphV is a criminal group related to BlackMatter, the cyber criminal behind the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack on May 6, 2021.

Two other higher education institutions, Phillips Community College and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, were attacked earlier this year by AlphV.

In 2021, more than 1000 schools and 77 government agencies were victims of cyberattacks, according to Emsisoft.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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