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Iranian Hackers Sell Stolen Essays From UK Universities, Edinburgh University Suffers DDoS Attack

Iranian hackers had hacked into top universities in the United Kingdom and stolen millions of essays, which were subsequently sold to customers in Iran for cash over Telegram and WhatsApp, as well as in the dark web. The recent attacks, which were carried out using siphoned credentials, apparently sought to bypass sanctions that ban the sale of academic papers to Iran. The attacks surfaced after the US Department of Justice disclosed in April that Iranian hackers had attempted to hack into hundreds of universities across 21 countries between 2013 and 2017 at the behest of the Iranian government.

The University of Edinburgh suffered a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack during Freshers Week that took its website offline for more than 24 hours. Jisc, the UK non-profit organisation that provides connectivity and internet services for the UK’s academic network known as Janet, said that several universities were targeted in the same week, and the number of DDoS attacks on universities typically increases during this time of the year as students return to the universities.

[1] Iranian hackers breach Oxford and Cambridge: Millions of essay papers and documents are stolen from top UK universities and sold over WhatsApp
[2] Edinburgh Uni Hit by Major Cyber-Attack
[3] Edinburgh University hit by ‘crippling’ cyber attack

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