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Howard University Announces Ransomware Attack, Shuts Down Classes On Tuesday

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Howard University announced on Monday that it has been hit with a ransomware attack, forcing the school to shut down classes on Tuesday, according to a statement from the prominent HBCU. The school said that on September 3, members of their technology team noticed “unusual activity” on the university’s network and shut it down in order to investigate the problem. They later confirmed it was a ransomware attack but did not say which group was behind the attack.

“The situation is still being investigated, but we are writing to provide an interim update and to share as much information as we safely and possibly can at this point in time, considering that our emails are often shared within a public domain,” Howard University said in a statement. “ETS and its partners have been working diligently to fully address this incident and restore operations as quickly as possible; but please consider that remediation, after an incident of this kind, is a long haul — not an overnight solution.” The school has contacted law enforcement and is working with forensic experts on the issue. They claim there is “no evidence of personal information being accessed or exfiltrated” but noted that the investigation is ongoing. The school was forced to cancel all classes on Tuesday in order to address the issue and the campus is only open to essential employees. Even the campus Wi-Fi is down. They noted that some cloud applications will remain accessible to students and that they will continue to update students and faculty at 2pm each day.

“This is a moment in time for our campus when IT security will be at its tightest. We recognize that there has to be a balance between access and security; but at this point in time, the University’s response will be from a position of heightened security,” the school added. “This is a highly dynamic situation, and it is our priority to protect all sensitive personal, research and clinical data. We are in contact with the FBI and the D.C. city government, and we are installing additional safety measures to further protect the University’s and your personal data from any criminal ciphering. You will receive additional communications from ETS over the course of the next few hours and continuing into the next few days, especially surrounding phishing attempts and how to protect your data online beyond the Howard University community.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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