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SLC under cyber attack

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has been hit by nearly one million cyber attacks in the last year, according to data released under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. The SLC said it was targeted by 965,639 attempts to infiltrate its systems in the last financial year, 2017-18.

The findings, collated by researchers at the Parliament Street think tank, found that these results were up from a mere three attempts in financial year 2015-16 and 95 in 2016-17. Of those attempts for the last financial year, one attack was successful in breeching the system. The SLC also detailed 323 attempts of malware and 235 malicious emails or calls, on top of the 965,639 attempts listed as ‘cyber attacks’.

Of the 965,639 cyber attempts, the FoI request detailed 127 were not blocked and were run as ‘incidents’. This number also contains the blocks at the perimeter which is why it is significantly larger than previous years. The number of malware attempts was highest in 2016/17 at 1015 with 81 reports of malicious emails or calls.


Terry Ray, senior vice president at the cyber security product firm Imperva says: “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.”


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