Stanford University announced that 27,000 individuals were impacted in the 2023 ransomware attack

Threat actors behind the ransomware attacks that hit Stanford University in 2023 gained access to 27,000 people.

Stanford University confirmed that threat actors behind the September 2023 ransomware attack had access to 27,000 people.

The prestigious US university was the victim of a ransomware attack carried out by the Akira ransomware group. The Akira ransomware gang claimed the theft of 430 GB of data from the university’s systems.

This week, Stanford University announced it is sending notification letters to the impacted individuals, it also added that the incident involved the Stanford Department of Public Safety.

The Department of Public Safety discovered the security breach on September 27, 2023, and investigated the incident.

“The investigation determined that an unauthorized individual(s) gained access to the Department of Public Safety’s network between May 12, 2023, and Sept. 27, 2023. The unauthorized access was ended and the network was secured shortly after the unauthorized access was first discovered.” reads the update published by the university. “The incident does not involve any Stanford systems or networks beyond the one used by the Department of Public Safety.”

The threat actors have gained access to the Department of Public Safety’s network from May 12 until September 27, 2023.

Compromised information varies from person to person, but they could include date of birth, Social Security number, government ID, passport number, driver’s license number, and other information collected by the Department of Public Safety in its operations.

For a limited number of victims, threat actors had access to biometric data, health/medical information, email addresses with passwords, usernames with passwords, security questions and answers, digital signatures, and credit card information with security codes.

Stanford University confirmed that, at this time, there is no evidence that the compromised information has been misused.

This isn’t the first time that Stanford University has suffered a security breach, in 2021 the Clop ransomware gang stole sensitive data from Stanford Medicine.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, data breach)