In recent years, public hacking attacks have grown exponentially. Due to an increase in security breaches, improving online security is becoming increasingly important for businesses, and now colleges have a lot more to worry about too. Last week, hacker group GhostShell posted a long list of links to server dumps from universities across the world. The leaked information included sensitive employee information, such as birth dates and payroll; it is unknown whether student information was leaked. While UCR was not on the list of schools, other well-known universities such as Harvard and Stanford were listed by GhostShell.

The hackers described the attack as a way to focus the public’s attention on the current state of higher education. In doing so, these hackers have also revealed that even some of the “best” universities are unable to properly protect their students and staff from hackers. If anything, this should be a wake-up call to the security analysts working at all these universities. They aren’t doing a very good job at securing their systems. Besides calling for better security measures for university information systems, this recent attack is a reminder to everyone that securing one’s information is very important.

GhostShell’s future intent is unclear. Just like other hacking groups, they could strike at any time on any kind of server. This is why it’s crucial that people use different usernames and passwords across all their important online accounts. GhostShell has hit banks, government agencies, and several other firms in the past, so it’s anyone’s guess who they will be targeting next. Unfortunately, even with users trying their best to protect their information, it’s up to the firms themselves to invest in better security systems. It’s a constant battle between security experts and hackers with no clear winner in sight.