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Printers at Queensland University of Technology spam ransomware demands

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has taken its systems offline after it was hit by a campus-wide ransomware attack.

user icon Daniel Croft
Tue, 03 Jan 2023
Printers at Queensland University of Technology spam ransomware demands
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Printers all over the campus were spewing out notes from a newer ransomware strain known as Royal Ransomware that first appeared in January 2022.

The ransomware is distributed by a group called Royal, who have ramped up their activities in the last few months.

The group took responsibility for an attack on UK’s infamous Silverstone Circuit racetrack, as well as an attack on the Travis Central Appraisal District in Austin, Texas, USA earlier this month.

The document printed displayed a standardised message that Royal usually sends via email to its victims, although with some words cut off.

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In response to the hack, QUT has taken all systems that are “sensitive in terms of holding data and so on” offline,” according to the university’s vice-chancellor Professor Sheil, who’s printer was also affected.

“In my case, it printed out until there was no more paper in my printer.”

Shiel goes on to say that most of the systems currently offline were shut down by the university, but that some systems were indeed compromised with files locked by the attack.

The university is currently contacting staff and students about the attack, including those who received an offer to study yesterday. New students will be unable to complete sign up until certain systems are back online.

Sheil has said that the university has plans in place for such attacks and has notified the Department of Education of the breach.

Cyber Security Connect has reached out to the QUT for a comment on the attack.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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