Over 1,000 university websites have security loopholes

Updated: 2015-05-21 14:41


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Thousands of loopholes have been found on more than 1,000 university websites, the majority of which are high-risk vulnerabilities, the Economic Information Daily reported on Wednesday.

From April 2014 to March 2015, 3,495 loopholes were discovered on 1,088 university websites. Of these, 2,611 (74.7 percent) were high risk vulnerabilities, 691 (19.8 percent) were medium risk, and 193 (5.5 percent) were low risk, according to butian.360.cn, an online security service.

If exploited, 384 vulnerabilities could leak the private information of at least 8.37 million university staff members and students. Despite the warning, only 186 vulnerabilities were fixed on 35 university websites, while 96.8 percent were ignored and 94.6 percent remained unrepaired.

Top Chinese universities, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University and Renmin University of China, were no exceptions.

In addition to privacy, university websites could also hold information on key national science or military projects, which might cause serious problems if leaked, says Ma Minhu, an expert on information security law at Xi'an Jiaotong University.

In 2014, Russian hackers stole information from more than 420,000 websites, amassing 1.2 billion username and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses, according to US-based research firm Hold Security.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the number of detected cyber attacks rose 48 per cent in 2014, compared to the year before. This rise is expected to continue in 2015, with more than 100,000 attacks taking place every day.