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Hackers target Zurich university with ‘professional’ cyberattack

Hacker at computer
The hack at the University of Zurich is being linked with a spate of cyberattacks on other educational and medical facilities. Keystone / Roland Schlager

The University of Zurich has been hit with a cyberattack that is being linked with a spate of attacks on educational and medical facilities in the region.

The university said on Friday that it is battling to keep the hackers out of critical zones by isolating parts of its IT system.

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This defence has compromised access to its systems but prevented cyberattackers from encrypting or extracting data.

The Swiss authorities have been alerted, along with students and employees who have been advised to change their passwords.

“The perpetrators appear to be acting in a very professional manner and are part of a current accumulation of attacks on educational and health institutions,” the University of Zurich stated.

“Several attacks have been carried out on universities in German-speaking countries in recent weeks, resulting in suspension of their IT services for extended periods of time.”

Last year, the University of Neuchâtel was hacked by malicious software in a cyberattack that forced the temporary shutting down of its IT systems.

Universities in Germany and Austria were among the global educational establishments targeted by hackers in recent years.

In 2021, the Swiss town of Rolle was hacked, resulting in data being posted onto the Darknet. A group called ‘Vice Society’ claimed responsibility, threatening to target other municipalities and hospitals.

It is not known who is behind the cyberattack on the University of Zurich.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR