Israel’s Technion university targeted with ransomware

Israel’s top technology school, Technion University, was hit by an unknown ransomware gang calling itself DarkBit.

Previously unknown group DarkBit hit Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, the country‘s top technical research institution. Attackers are demanding the university 80 bitcoins (over $1.7m) to return stolen data.

A ransom note obtained by researchers at vx-underground and CyberIL implies that the attackers’ motives could be political, as the message includes accusations about the university’s supposed crimes.

The university’s website was inaccessible at the time of writing this article.

The university acknowledged the attack, saying the attack is under investigation by Technion’s experts together with security experts from outside the institution.

“Technion proactively blocked all communication networks at this stage,” reads the university’s message.

DarkBit ransomware is not a known criminal group or a strain of malware. However, its name echoes infamous syndicates such as DarkSide and LockBit.

According to reports by local media, Israel’s cyber watchdog, the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD), is already assisting Technion with the investigation into the matter.

Classes are said to resume at the university, albeit without access to Technion’s IT systems or internet connection, severely limiting the ability to work in a digitally focused institution.

Technion is Israel’s oldest university, ranking among the world’s top educational institutions. The university produced several Nobel Laureates and is considered a cornerstone in Israel’s high-tech industry.

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