CyberNews Briefs

US Academic Credentials Displayed in Public and Dark Web Forums

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned the public of a new threat via a Private Industry Notification. The warning targets universities, colleges, and higher education institutions that credentials have been advertised for same on dark web criminal marketplaces. According to the FBI, the credentials were discovered in January of this year for sale on a Russian cybercrime forum. The credentials pertained to several American universities and colleges across the country. The FBI reported that prices ranged from a few dollars to multiple thousands.

The Private Industry Notification also mentioned that the exposure of such sensitive credential and network access information is very detrimental to the institutions as it could lead to cyberattacks against individual users or affiliated organizations. Higher education institutions should be wary of the threat and change passwords, as well as be diligent with security measures such as two factor authentication. Attackers could attempt to breach credit cards or gain access to other personally identifiable information, submit fraudulent transactions on behalf of the institution, exploit for other criminal activity, or launch subsequent attacks. The FBI explained that the credentials were probably obtained via spear-phishing, ransomware, or cyber intrusion tactics.

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