The Auckland University of Technology (AUT) has reportedly fallen victim to a cyberattack orchestrated by the Monti ransomware group, a threat actor known for its unconventional tactics. While the exact motive behind the attack remains unclear, the group boldly claimed responsibility and added AUT to its “Wall of Shame”.
In response, AUT swiftly isolated potentially affected servers and implemented enhanced security measures to address the breach. Despite the incident, normal university operations and teaching activities remain uninterrupted.
The Monti ransomware group’s return after a two-month hiatus has drawn attention due to its unique approach. They have unveiled a new Linux version of their encryptor, targeting government and legal sectors.
Unlike traditional cybercriminals motivated by financial gain, Monti views its activities as a form of ethical hacking aimed at exposing network vulnerabilities. They classify their actions as penetration testing and expect compensation for their services, resorting to publicly listing victimized companies on their data leak site’s “Wall of Shame” in cases of non-payment.
As AUT works diligently to manage the incident and conduct a thorough investigation with the help of external cybersecurity experts, the breach has highlighted the evolving tactics of ransomware groups and the ongoing cybersecurity challenges faced by organizations, including educational institutions. The situation underscores the need for robust security measures and vigilance in the face of cyber threats.