KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Institutions for higher education and Not-For-Profit Organizations are experiencing a surge in attempts aimed at hacking their data. The more recent known examples were perpetrated against UCLA, the University of Texas, and Mississippi State University. Acunetix, a leading vendor of web application security solutions, is offering all American Universities and Not-for-profit Organizations a complimentary website audit through its recently launched service, Acunetix SiteAudit.
Last month, a hacker infiltrated a massive database from the University of California, Los Angeles, containing personal information (including social security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses and contact information) on 800,000 people in one of the worst computer breaches ever at a US university.
"There is a general lack of awareness about web application security, " stated K. J. Vella, VP Sales and Operations at Acunetix. "Organizations, in general, do not realize if your web apps are weak, hackers will find a way to get in and steal your data. What makes the situation worse is that you'll never know they've been in. Hackers will not leave a trail, your data will still remain there but a copy of it resides in its entirety elsewhere either for immediate sale or for later use." "Buyers could use the data to fraudulently apply for cell phones, credit cards or to launch cyber terrorist attacks. Whichever the aim, organizations are duty-bound to protect the data entrusted them," explained Vella.