Hackers attack university exam software and release records online

August 7, 2020

University exam software ProctorU has been hacked and records pertaining to 440,000 users have been released online

Hackers attack university exam software and release records online

Following the Covid-19 outbreak, several Australian universities switched to administering examinations online using exam software ProctorU.  In recent days these universities have been informed of a data security breach which has resulted in the leak of personal records belonging to 440,000 users.  It is believed that these records contain residential addresses, usernames, passwords (unencrypted) and full names.

ProctorU uses remote software to allow proctors to monitor students whilst they complete examinations.  It is understood that The University of Sydney Students’ Representative Council voted to urge the university seek an alternative to ProctorU due to concerns about student privacy.  This relates to the capability of the ProctorU software to remotely control student devices and webcams.  Concerns were also raised that many students would have to complete exams in bedrooms which would be visible on camera.

“ Any breach of security and privacy of this type is of course deeply concerning and we will continue to work with ProctorU to understand the circumstances of the breach and determine whether any follow-up actions are required on our part…We’ll also review our experience of online exams and proctoring this year to inform our approach to assessments in 2021… ” Spokeswoman, University of Sydney

The data is believed to belong to users that registered with the service prior to 2014.  In response to the incident, ProctorU has disabled the server and terminated access to the service.  It claims to have introduced additional security measures to prevent future breaches and is performing an investigation.

“ We don’t believe our current students are directly impacted by this breach as we began using ProctorU’s online proctoring services in 2020, in response to the COVID19 pandemic… ” Spokeswoman, University of Sydney

More information on ProctorU can be accessed here: https://www.proctoru.com/