Queensland University of Technology Reports Experiencing Royal Ransomware Cyber Attack

A cybersecurity incident occurred at the Queensland University of Technology a few days before Christmas, reporting that no student or staff data have been compromised in what appears to be a Royal ransomware attack.

QUT recently announced the incident that happened in 22 December 2022, informing the school community that its IT systems have been taken offline as a precautionary measure whilst investigations are being completed. 

“At this stage, our assessment is that no student or staff data has been compromised,” the announcement said.

“We will provide an all-staff update prior to the reopening of the campus on 3 January.

“Technical staff are currently investigating and QUT has notified the relevant agencies of the situation.”

“Royal Ransomware” emerged in early 2022 and is being distributed by ransomware threat actors from previous operations and uses a sophisticated technique to penetrate networks and encrypt them with malware with the intent of demanding ransom.

Their operation has been mostly targeting corporations, reportedly demanding ransom payments between $250,000 and over $2 million.  

QUT said that technical staff are already working with external experts and will continue to work through the holiday period. Restoration of the system is expected to be completed progressively but the timeline will still be subject to further investigation.

“We will communicate with you before QUT reopens in the new year and will provide more information once we have completed our investigation,” the QUT announcement added.

Last October, Marist College Ashgrove confirmed that there has been a cybersecurity breach at the school that occurred sometime in September 2022.

The cyber-attack could have potentially exposed the driver’s license information of some 3,000 former staff which included their names, superannuation, account numbers, contact information and address.