The attacks forced the shutdown of 25 university servers.
The Sydney Morning Herald's Asher Moses reports that Australia's University of New South Wales was targeted by hackers in December and January, forcing it to shut down 25 of its servers. Moses notes that hackers are increasingly targeting universities in order to leverage their high-bandwidth Internet connections to launch other attacks.
"A spokesman for UNSW said it appeared multiple attackers began sniffing around its network around the beginning of the Christmas shutdown on December 19, with the first successful intrusion occurring on Christmas Day," Moses writes. "That server was shut down on Boxing Day. 'Further attacks occurred in late December and early January, these were detected on January 3 and UNSW shut down 25 servers on January 5 as well as suspending a number of user accounts,' the UNSW spokesman said."
"According to the spokesperson, most of the affected servers were brought back online during the week beginning 14 January," writes Computerworld's Hamish Barwick. "UNSW operates a total of 1600 servers."
"An internal investigation has been launched, but the incident has not been reported to the police," writes Softpedia's Eduard Kovacs. "The university’s representatives say there’s no indication that the attackers have managed to cause any damage."