Student Loans Company hit by one million cyberattacks last year

The figure is a marked rise on the previous year, when just 95 attempts were recorded

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has been hit by nearly one million cyberattacks in the last year, according to official figures. In data released under freedom of information (FOI) legislation, the SLC revealed it was targeted by 965,639 attempts to infiltrate its systems in the last financial year (2017/18).

The findings, collated by researchers the Parliament Street think tank, discovered that these results were up from a mere three attempts in financial year 2015/16 and 95 in 2016/17.

Out of the attacks during the last financial year, one was successful in breaching the system. The SLC also detailed 323 malware attacks and 235 malicious emails or calls, on top of the attempts listed as cyberattacks.

It’s no surprise that cybercriminals are relentlessly targeting the personal financial details of students, putting the wellbeing of tens of thousands of individuals at risk

Of the 965,639 cyberattack attempts, the FOI request revealed that 127 were not blocked and run as incidents. The number also contains the blocks at the perimeter, which is why it is significantly larger than previously.

Malware attacks were highest in 2016/17, numbering 1015, with 81 reports of malicious emails or calls.

Terry Ray, senior vice president of cybersecurity firm, Imperva, said: “It’s no surprise that cybercriminals are relentlessly targeting the personal financial details of students, putting the wellbeing of tens of thousands of individuals at risk. Tackling this problem means investing heavily in the latest cybersecurity measures, to keep hackers out and limit the risk of a major data breach.”