Howard University Cancels Classes, Shuts Campus After Ransomware Attack

Howard University closed its physical campus and canceled classes this week after experiencing a ransomware attack.

The incident was discovered on September 3, right before the Labor Day weekend, and the University’s Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) immediately shut down the internal network to contain the attack.

The University did not provide information on which ransomware family might have been involved in the attack, but did say that personal information doesn’t appear to have been compromised.

“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,” according to a statement from the university.

Howard University cancelled classes for Tuesday, September 7 and left the  campus open for essential personnel only. Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the campus remained unavailable until ETS finds “the best and safest path to stand it up.”

[ READ: FBI Warns Ransomware Attack Could Disrupt Food Supply Chain ]

Applications that are stored in the cloud remain accessible, but other applications might not be available for access.

The University says it will provide daily updates on how the investigation into the incident advances and that the FBI and the D.C. city government have been informed of the attack.

“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 institution said.

Founded in 1867, Howard University has 13 schools and colleges in Washington D.C., providing students with the option of more than 140 programs of study.

Related: FBI Warns Ransomware Attack Could Disrupt Food Supply Chain

Related: Colonial Pipeline Confirms Personal Information Impacted in Ransomware Attack

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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