Research Universities Subject to Cyber Attacks

According to the New York Times, leading US research universities have been subject to millions of hacking attempts on a weekly basis. Professors at these universities, including MIT, receive thousands of patents each year in areas such as prescription drugs, computer chips, fuel cells, aircraft, medical devices, food production and more.

Bill Mellon of the University of Wisconsin told the Times they get 90,000 to 100,000 hacking attempts per day, from China alone, to penetrate their system.

Although it is difficult to track where the attacks are coming from, US government officials, security experts and university and corporate officials say that China is clearly the leading source of efforts to steal information. Other countries are Russia and Vietnam.

A growing number of schools no longer allow their professors to take their laptops and smart phones to certain countries. They  fear information will be copied or malware will be planted that will be activated when the device is taken home and connected to a network, allowing the thieves to get in.

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About MIT
IT Security Awareness Consultant and Communications Specialist at MIT

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