Australian universities using the ProctorU online exam monitoring tool suffered a data breach affecting 444,000 users of the platform.
The breach is among numerous databases being published to a hacker forum, exposing over 385 million user records since July 21st.
ProctorU was one of 18 companies with data exposed in the release, which contained records belonging to University of Sydney staff, that university’s Honi Soit student publication reported.
The data includes usernames, unencrypted passwords, legal names and full residential addresses, belonging to a number of Australian universities, including the Group of Eight’s University of Sydney, University of NSW, University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia, and University of Adelaide, as well as Swinburne University, James Cook University, and Curtin University.
According to a spokesperson for the University of Sydney, the university met with ProctorU’s CEO and compliance officer who confirmed they are investigating a breach of confidential data relating to users of their service.
The data relates to users who were registered in ProctorU’s services on or before 2014. It is believed that the current students are not directly impacted by this breach as the ProctorU’s online proctoring services were started using in 2020, in response to the COVID19 pandemic.
The spokesperson stated that they will continue to work with ProctorU to understand the circumstances of the breach and determine whether any follow-up actions are required on their part.
The University of Melbourne also stated that they are aware of a cyber security issue involving ProctorU and is investigating the matter.
Swinburne University is also investigating the matter as a small number of their online students have been impacted. Swinburne Online is contacting the student community to inform them of the breach and advising them to update their security details.
ProctorU is one of many online exam invigilation platforms being used in the Australian higher education sector.