Hacker attack on the University of Giessen!

M.Sc. Chris Wojzechowski

Hacker attack on the University of Giessen!

The hacker attack on the University of Giessen represents the threats to which educational institutions are also exposed. If Internet,- email systems and internal networks are not usable, the organization is offline. Now 38,000 passwords have to be reset manually in Giessen.

Since 09.12, the University of Giessen has been the victim of a serious IT security incident.

Operation at a university also depends heavily on information technology systems. The registration and deregistration of exams, communication with professors and often the distribution of scripts and other documents that are crucial for the completion of studies. Similar to companies, operations here come to a standstill if the systems are not accessible.

The problems were triggered by a previously unknown variant of malware. However, this is not surprising, as the number of new malicious software goes into the millions. Since 09.12. work has been carried out at full speed to solve the problem. High pressure means that virus scans are performed with the help of USB sticks.

Another problem is the handling of passwords. The resetting itself is the smallest problem. The reissue of a password can only happen on site. For this reason, long queues for the generation of a password gather in front of the gym.

Uni Gießen suffers serious IT security incident (Source: Hessenschau.de)
The queue for issuing new passwords is long. At the University of Giessen it takes time until everyone receives a new one. (Source: Hessenschau.de)

Little is still known about the hacker attack on the University of Giessen.

Officially it is said that no further information about the malware will be given in view of the ongoing investigations. Although this is a typical procedure, it does not help other potential victims at the moment. If it were officially known that it is, for example, a new emotet variant, official reports could be made.

Increased vigilance is recommended especially at Christmas time – both privately and professionally. Christmas greetings, gifts and e-mails with congratulations are sent to the mailbox in large numbers. One wrong click is enough to set off a wave of infections. Technical aids are rarely set up in such a way as to catch every potential case. We are looking forward to further information about the hacker attack on the University of Gießen.

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M.Sc. Chris Wojzechowski

My name is Chris Wojzechowski and I studied my Master in Internet Security in Gelsenkirchen a few years ago. I am one of two managing directors of AWARE7 GmbH and a trained IT Risk Manager, IT-Grundschutz practitioner (TÜV) and possess the test procedure competence for § 8a BSIG. Our bread and butter business is performing penetration testing. We are also committed to promoting a broad understanding of IT security in Europe, which is why we offer the majority of our products free of charge.