Business security kit used for cyberattack on Highlands university

A security toolkit used in industry was adapted for a ransomware attack on a Scottish university, cybersecurity professionals have confirmed.

Cobalt Strike, which helps researchers conduct penetration tests on IT systems, was deployed against the University of the Highlands and Islands.

The incident is thought to have originated in eastern Europe or the Baltic region and was a “polymorphic attack” featuring various malware components, according to Hefestis — the technology and information services group that works with Scottish colleges and universities.

The ransomware included a strain of Ryuk, which is linked to many so-called big game hunting attacks, which target institutions with significant revenues for financial gain.

The attacks against the university on March 5 disrupted student and staff services but were isolated by IT

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