Victoria Kivilevich, Threat Intelligence Analyst and Sharon Bitton, Marketing Content Manager
2020’s back to school is a bit different than usual as most students around the world are getting ready to meet again with their peers online. Rather than worrying about the classic back to school activities, such as purchasing the most in-style school supplies or figuring out the perfect outfit for day 1, students are more invested in finding the comfortable home setup for online learning. School IT admins, on the other hand, are most concerned this year about educating their students and staff regarding cybersecurity as school begins remotely, while in parallel focusing heavily on deterring cyber threats from cybercriminals looking to attack educational institutions.
In our last blogpost, Back to School: Why Cybercriminals Continue to Target the Education Sector, Part 1, we looked into threat actors’ overall interest in targeting organizations in the education sector, diving into some examples of recent attempted attacks that we’ve spotted across the underground ecosystem. This blogpost touched on several key points that helped establish a general understanding of the threat level targeting educational institutions. We decided to circle back to this topic because of the increasing risks that emerged as much of the world begins to return to schools.
Schools already struggling with high cases of COVID-19 now must begin battling other mishaps such as cyberattacks on their online learning platforms within their first days of remote learning. This situation occurred to one of the largest district schools in Florida and was likely caused by a newbie in the underground world – an alleged 16-year old threat actor. This successful attack on a large school, by a supposedly young threat actor, may imply that planned attacks by more sophisticated and experienced threat actors are similarly on their way.