Cyber criminals have obtained data from persons who graduated from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Utrecht University (UU), the universities write on their website on Tuesday. This includes personal information, contact details and career data of people who graduated before April 2017.
The universities had a backup on the servers of software company Blackbaud. However, that company was hit by ransomware between February 7 and May 20. Both universities had an old backup from 2017 at Blackbaud.
This back-up contained the personal data, contact details and education and career data of alumni. At Utrecht University, data from donors and relations has also ended up in the hands of the hackers. Both universities emphasize that the criminals did not have access to bank details and passwords. At TU Delft, this data was not on the backup and at UU it was encrypted.
At the University of Delft, it concerns just under 60,000 alumni who graduated before February 2017 and who have given permission to be included in the alumni database, a spokesperson tells NU.nl. On Tuesday morning, the university sent letters and emails to the affected alumni.
At Utrecht University, it is currently unknown how many alumni were affected by the incident and in what period they graduated. “We only got access to the backup this morning and are currently looking through it. We do know that people who graduated after 2017 were not affected anyway”, a spokesperson told NU.nl. The university hopes to inform those affected “as soon as possible”.
Universities affected worldwide
According to the universities, the chance that they were the target of the cyber attack is small, because it affected a large number of universities worldwide. “Given the large number of educational institutions and foundations worldwide affected by this incident, we have no reason to believe that the cyber attack was specifically aimed at TU Delft or its alumni,” said TU Delft.
There is also little chance that the data has been misused, UU emphasizes. “Blackbaud informs us that the company has received confirmation that the hackers have now destroyed the data in question and reports that there is no reason to believe that they have distributed the data”, UU writes.