7,500 affected by Western Sydney University cyber breach

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Students at a university in Sydney’s west have been notified of a cyber breach on its IT network, with more than 7,500 individuals affected.

Western Sydney University (WSU), which has several campuses across the western suburbs of Sydney, released a statement today regarding the intrusion.

The unauthorised access into the university’s IT network was first identified in January 2024, with the network shutdown quickly and measures were put into place.

An investigation was launched and WSU uncovered that the earliest known access was on May 17 2023, through WSU’s Microsoft Office 365.

Some SharePoint files and emails were accessed, and WSU’s Solar Car Laboratory was identified as possibly being “used as part of the incident”.

The university has notified the 7,500 individuals who were affected by the breach, while maintaining there had been “no threats received by the University” in regards to the private information.

“The University has not received any demands in exchange for maintaining privacy,” WSU stated.

NSW Police and the NSW Information and Privacy Commission are working with WSU as the investigation remains ongoing.

WSU’s Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor Clare Pollock apologised to those affected by the cyber breach.

“On behalf of the University, I unreservedly apologise for this incident and its impact on our community. It is deeply regrettable, and we are committed to transparently rectifying the matter and fulfilling our obligations,” Professor Pollock said.

“We appreciate that this may be upsetting, and we are here to support you as we work through this together. We have established a dedicated phone line and website to answer any questions you might have.”

Newswire has contacted the Department of Home Affairs for comment.

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