University Data Breach Information

Friday 14-06-2019 - 08:49

We have been asked to share the following information regarding a limited attack on University data systems.  Please see below for more information. 
You may be aware that USW has had a limited attack on our data systems. We want to keep you updated with what you need to know and do. 
We detected and stopped a limited attack on our data systems
Our own systems alerted us that a small number of individuals may be trying to gain access to certain academic systems. We immediately took robust action to secure the network, making sure the attempt couldn’t continue or spread. 
Most systems and information aren’t affected
Basically, a small number of staff passwords were compromised. That wasn’t enough to gain access to the vast majority of University systems and information. We will contact you if you’re affected but, unless you hear directly from us, there is no evidence to suggest that your personal information has been hacked.
We’re scrutinising what happened and there will be sanctions for those who did it
Our team are working with the police in a full, forensic and comprehensive investigation to get to the very bottom of exactly what happened. We take this very seriously. Because it appears to be both deliberate and illegal, it wouldn’t be right to give every detail out because those details are likely to be part of disciplinary and criminal court action. 
You can help keep us all digitally safe 
Please take these steps yourself to protect your own computer and your own data. They only take a couple of minutes and they’re largely common sense.


  • Update your password. The Police say we did the right thing in getting all staff  to change their password at the time and we are looking at ways we can further improve our digital security.
  • You can update Eduroam – there’s an improved version here. It only takes a couple of minutes.
If you’re concerned, feel free to get in touch: 
For help with your passwords and tech:
About this incident: USW Communications team:

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