Security

Monti Group Claims Auckland University Of Technology Breach

In a recent cybersecurity incident, the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) allegedly fell victim to a breach orchestrated by the notorious Monti ransomware group.

The threat actors boldly claimed responsibility for the Auckland University of Technology breach on their dark web channel and brazenly added AUT to their “Wall of Shame.” 

While the exact motive behind targeting the university remains shrouded in mystery, the group’s message suggests that they exploited what they perceived as lax security measures.

Source: Twitter

The Monti ransomware group claimed the breach and provided a download link for a sample of the stolen data. 

Auckland University of Technology breach: Monti ransomware group returns!

Source: Twitter

Founded in 1895, Auckland University of Technology stands as a cornerstone of educational excellence, offering various programs, including undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas certificates across various disciplines.

In light of this alarming development, The Cyber Express sought confirmation from AUT about the Auckland University of Technology breach claims.

According to the university’s official statement, “Auckland University of Technology (AUT) recently experienced a cyber incident involving unauthorized access to its IT environment by an unknown third party.

Despite the Auckland University of Technology breach, normal university operations and teaching activities remain uninterrupted, both on-campus and online.

The university says they took swift action, and isolated “potentially affected servers, and implemented additional security measures in the hours after initial detection.” 

The university has also enlisted the expertise of leading external cybersecurity and forensic IT professionals to manage the incident and conduct a thorough investigation. However, they caution that this process may take some time.

AUT has dutifully reported the incident to the National Cyber Security Centre and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

The university is committed to working closely with these agencies throughout their response efforts.

Monti Ransomware Group’s Unusual Tactics

With the Auckland University of Technology breach, the Monti ransomware group made a noteworthy return after a two-month hiatus, unveiling a new Linux version of their encryptor, targeting government and legal sectors. 

This group first garnered attention in 2022 when it mimicked the tactics of the Conti ransomware, even utilizing its leaked source code.

However, the new Linux version departs significantly from its predecessors, showcasing distinctive behaviors and marking a substantial deviation from the earlier variant.

The Monti ransomware group distinguishes itself by eschewing the traditional motivations of financial gain. Instead, they view their activities as a form of ethical hacking, exposing vulnerabilities in corporate networks.

They categorize their actions as penetration testing and expect compensation for their services. In cases of non-payment, they resort to publicly listing the victimized companies on their data leak site’s “Wall of Shame.”

The Auckland University of Technology breach by the Monti ransomware group seems to be the first big cyber attack by the threat actor after a long hiatus.

Despite being a low-profile threat actor who target limits its operations, this university data breach puts the threat actor in the spotlight again.

This is an ongoing story, and The Cyber Express will update this post once we have more information about the Auckland University of Technology breach.

Media Disclaimer: This report is based on internal and external research obtained through various means. The information provided is for reference purposes only, and users bear full responsibility for their reliance on it. The Cyber Express assumes no liability for the accuracy or consequences of using this information.

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