howard university has cancelled classes after ransomware attack scaled

Howard University Cancelled Classes – Ransomware Attack

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Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by Calvin C.

In another classical act of cyberterrorism, a university in Washington D.C, Howard University cancelled classes after a ransomware attack. This unfortunate incident took place on the 3rd of September, a few days after students resumed lectures.

The University’s Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) detected unusual activity on the University’s network and shut it down to conduct investigations.

In a statement, the University authorities said:

“Based on the investigation and the information we have to date, we know the University has experienced a ransomware cyberattack.

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.

We are currently working with leading external forensic experts and law enforcement to fully investigate the incident and the impact. To date, there has been no evidence of personal information being accessed or exfiltrated; however, our investigation remains ongoing, and we continue to work toward clarifying the facts surrounding what happened and what information has been accessed. “

howard university cancelled classes
Image Credit to Howard University

The University needs to assess the full impact of the ransomware attack and to do that Tuesday classes were cancelled.

The campus is open only to campus essential employees only and as expected, the campus WiFi was disabled to pave way for full investigations.

However, cloud-based resources remain accessible to students and teachers. The statement went on to confirm the worst:

“Based on the investigation and the information we have to date, we know the University has experienced a ransomware cyberattack.

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. “

So far it’s not clear who is behind the attack or the amount of ransom that the cybercriminals demanded.

In addition, there is no evidence that the data of the University’s 9500+ students has been accessed or exfiltrated.

“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,” the statement read.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise in the U.S. and educational institutions have not been spared.

FBI’s Cyber Division has issued out a warning that cybercriminals mainly target schools and universities due where remote learning is used frequently.

According to Brett Callow, a threat analyst at cyber-security company Emsisoft, in 2020 84 incidents disrupted 1681 individual schools and universities.

Conclusion

This attack on Howard University is one of the many examples of cyberattacks that have destabilized organizations and institutions.

One of the infamous attacks was of the Colonial Pipeline orchestrated by a criminal gang called Darkside.

Colonial Pipeline paid $5 million in ransom to the attackers and this was part of a wide range of attacks that deprived about 47 victims of a combined $90 million dollars.

It is important to actively protect your privacy and security when you are online. If you work with private data online, a VPN is one tool that hides your online activity.

There are many VPNs on the market and a few are safe, reliable and effective. The good thing about premium VPNs is that you get to test all the features of a VPN risk-free without putting your data at risk.

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What are your comments on the latest attack on Howard University? Leave comments below and share the article with friends on social media.

Tech writer and VPN expert. DIY enthusiast and loves anything to do with space science.

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