Classes at Howard University were canceled due to a ransomware attack as “Unusual activity on the university’s network” sparked an IT investigation.
The university’s network was paused by the Enterprise Technology Services department while they examined the security breach. Only essential employees were permitted on campus, and Wi-Fi was shut down until the university could “determine the best and safest path to stand it up.”
“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 DC city government, and we are installing additional safety measures to further protect the university’s and your personal data from any criminal ciphering.
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 said in a statement.
Ransomware is a type of malware that locks up a computer or a user’s personal information/documents until a specific amount of monetary funds is paid. The files are encrypted, and the ransom is usually paid in cryptocurrency, which makes tracing and prosecuting the criminals challenging.
Since 2012, these types of malware attacks have grown exponentially. In 2018, there were 181.5 million ransomware attacks during the first six months. Compared to the same timeframe in 2017, there was a 229 percent jump.
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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.