In a significant cybersecurity incident, hackers belonging to the Monti group have recently leaked the first batch of stolen data from Brno University, as reported by Czech Television (ČT). The compromised data primarily pertains to the Faculty of Military Leadership, including personal information of teaching officers, meeting records, and study plans.
It is worth noting that the Monti hackers have gained notoriety for their ransomware attacks, where they employ malicious software to block access to data in targeted computer systems. They demand a ransom to return the data or refrain from disclosing it to the public.
In the case of Brno University, the institution had previously refused to pay the demanded ransom. Consequently, the hackers have now made the first set of data public. Amongst the leaked information are personal details of teaching staff, many of whom hold senior military positions. The released data includes their addresses, dates of birth, and unique phone numbers. This breach specifically impacts the departments of logistics and crisis management.
According to the hackers, other faculties are likely to follow suit. They have threatened to release 750 GB of internal data, as reported by ČT. Due to ongoing investigations, the university spokesperson, Vladimír Šidla, declined to comment on the case.
The severity of this data breach is underscored by Colonel Otakar Foltýn from the Office of the President of the Czech Republic, a former Chief of the Military Police. He emphasized that students at the university will become future military officers, potentially reaching high-ranking positions within 20 years. Consequently, hostile intelligence agencies may be keenly interested in acquiring insights into the training and education of these future military leaders, as cited by ČT.
The cyber attack on Brno University was first reported by iRozhlas.cz at the end of September. The incident is currently being investigated by the Municipal State Prosecutor’s Office in Brno.
Established in 2004, Brno University primarily prepares future professionals for the Czech Army. It was formed through the merger of three institutions: the Higher Military School of Ground Forces in Vyškov, the Military Academy in Brno, and the Jan Evangelista Purkyně Military Medical Academy in Hradec Králové. As a result of a military restructuring, the university currently has approximately 1,600 students.
In related news, a mass cyber attack orchestrated by pro-Russian hackers recently disrupted the websites of the Czech Ministry of the Interior, the police, the government, the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, and Prague Airport. GenDigital, a cybersecurity company, noted that these attacks responded to Prague’s International Crimean Platform summit. By 5 p.m., all affected websites had been restored and were functioning normally.
These cybersecurity incidents highlight the growing need for robust measures to safeguard sensitive data and protect critical infrastructure from malicious actors.