blackbyte attacks University OF New England

Incident Date:

October 21, 2022

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blackbyte attacks University OF New England


University OF New England




Biddeford, USA

Maine, USA

First Reported

October 21, 2022

University of New England Suffers Ransomware Attack

The University of New England (UNE) has been targeted by the ransomware group Blackbyte, as reported on their dark web leak site. UNE is Maine's largest private university and the top provider of health professionals in the state. The institution is known for its hands-on learning approach, with students graduating with career-ready skills and a high rate of employment or ongoing higher education within one year of graduating.

The University of New England operates in the Education sector and has campuses in Maine, Tangier, and online. The institution has been recognized by The Princeton Review and the Brookings Institution for its value and return on investment. Despite its reputation and success, UNE has become a victim of a ransomware attack, which has disrupted its operations and potentially compromised sensitive data.

Rising Threats to Educational Institutions

Ransomware attacks on educational institutions have been on the rise, with an average of 1,065 cyberattacks per week targeting education and research institutions in 2021, according to the Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report. These attacks can result in the loss of access to critical systems and data, as well as the potential exposure of personal information.

The University of New England's vulnerability to such attacks may be due to its size and the complexity of its IT infrastructure. As a large private university, UNE likely has a significant number of connected devices and systems, which can create opportunities for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities. Additionally, the university's reliance on digital systems for teaching, research, and administrative functions may make it a prime target for cybercriminals seeking to disrupt operations and demand ransom payments.

Recommendations for Enhanced Cybersecurity

In response to these threats, experts recommend that institutions like UNE invest in robust cybersecurity measures, such as managed detection and response solutions, to stay ahead of potential attacks. These solutions involve third-party companies monitoring the environment 24/7 to detect and respond to threats in real-time.

The University of New England has not yet released a public statement regarding the ransomware attack or the measures it is taking to mitigate the impact. The institution's website remains operational, but the attack may have disrupted some of its services or data access.


Recent Ransomware Attacks

The Recent Ransomware Attacks (RRA) site acts as a watchtower, providing you with near real-time ransomware tracking of attacks, groups and their victims. Given threat actors’ overarching, lucrative success so far, ransomware attacks have become the most ubiquitous, and financially and informationally impactful cyber threat to businesses and organizations today.

The site’s data is generated based on hosting choices of real-world threat actors, and a handful of other trackers. While sanitization efforts have been taken, we cannot guarantee 100% accuracy of the data. Attack updates will be made as source data is reported by reputable sources. By viewing, accessing, or using RRA you acknowledge you are doing so at your own risk.