Ransomware hackers get paid €250k by Maastricht University after the hackers blocked access to the university’s digital systems with ransomware. The university board was forced to pay as the hackers also managed to steal the university backups. According to Volkskrant, the backups stored on university servers contained research data and data from students and staff from the past decades.
According to the newspaper, the university employee discovered issues with the mail server on December 23. The networks were found to be infected by Clop Ransomware. It is a type of malware that blocks access to files and programs on the computer or network. In the attack access to all systems containing universities’ research data, financial information, email systems, the intranet, and the backups were blocked.
The university reached a decision to pay a ransom in a bid to recover blocked data. Maastricht University in a statement to the newspaper refused to comment on the details, said it will explain the situation and further investigation into the cyberattack at a symposium on February 5th.
PIeter-Jaap Aalbersberg, the Netherlands’ National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security, said: “If you have good backups and systems separated, and you have software updates, you are not vulnerable to this.”
Earlier last year the website was created by the Dutch Police for victims of ransomware to check whether a decryption tool for the type of malware they’re infected with is already available. This could help them regain access to their computers before paying cybercriminals.