- Michigan State University, Cornell University and Virginia Tech are among a list of 25 colleges victimized by international cyberattacker "Rasputin," who recently hacked 60 domestic institutions and government agencies.
- According to Recorded Future, the Russian-speaking hacker infiltrated and sold SQL access to the institutions' organizational network and files.
- "Rasputin" has also been identified as an agent responsible for hacking the U.S. elections in November.
It is clear that higher education, and particularly campuses with high research activity, will have to prioritize cybersecurity as a top public safety concern. While it may not bring the same attention and outcomes as campus crime, vulnerability of student, faculty and research data can cause irreparable damage for individuals — and, on a larger scale, campus operations that rely on digital access and service.
Leaders should consider potentially outsourcing data security to proven contractors and working with federal officials to identify best practices in preventing large-scale hacks. As more hackers successfully breach campus systems, even more attempts will be made at disrupting networks and compromising security.