Attacks on database ‘daily occurrence’

USP deputy vice-chancellor Education Professor Jito Vanualailai. Picture: ATU RASEA

Cyber attacks on the University of the South Pacific (USP) database are a daily occurrence.

This was shared by USP deputy vice-chancellor Education Professor Jito Vanualailai to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence while presenting the USP’s submission on the Budapest Convention in Suva yesterday.

“Let me tell you that we are being attacked daily,” he said.

“We are being attacked from various parts of the world and the attack is basically trying to penetrate our system through various means in order to get data from the university and we are fortunate that we have built our experience over the last 30 years with the help of our stakeholders, the Fiji Government, Australian and New Zealand governments.”

Prof Vanualailai said their partners had helped USP to build a secure system to ensure confidential data of over 12 regional countries remained safe.

“Let me take you into what we call the war room, and you can see the big screen and where the attacks are coming from. It’s just incredible.

“When we have big meetings like the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting, the attacks are coming left, right and centre because once they penetrate in one of our systems in Fiji, they can penetrate elsewhere.

“Let me assure you, we have a very good team at the university and we have the counter measures against these attacks but once in a while, it gets through.

According to Prof Vanualailai, the staff members at USP were highly trained and data of all individuals were treated as confidential.

“That is one good thing about the (Budapest) Convention is that it protects individual rights and there are different levels of access.”

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