Hacker raises students’ tuition costs

A hacker whose ongoing attacks put Rutgers University’s cybersecurity under so much strain the school has had to increase tuition to fight back is still at it, according to reports. 

Since last year, a hacker who allegedly goes by Exfocus has launched several devastating Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the school’s networks. Exfocus claims that he or she is being paid $500 an hour for the attacks by someone who holds a grudge against the university.

As part of its response, Rutgers has paid out $3 million to beef up its cybersecurity, but to little avail: the most recent DDoS attack knocked out the school’s system that students and faculty use to log into the network.

Although the school has raised tuition in part to deal with the threat, users have been left scrambling for  alternatives to the hacking attack including reading PDFs on phones or working from home.

Could happen anywhere

DDoS attacks are a headache because they’re relatively cheap and easy for hackers and hard to defend against. What defenses there are against these attacks usually come at a steep price.

So for any number of reasons, your organization could find itself on the wrong side of these attacks.

The most important thing you can do to prepare for a DDoS is to have a solid plan in place including:

  • discovery procedures
  • immediate options during recovery, and
  • long-term fixes.

The most important step: having a cybersecurity team in place that can delegate tasks and react quickly.

 

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