The University of Sunderland was hit by a serious cyberattack.
Starting Tuesday night, the attack shut down many important services and made some students unable to access their emails. Online education remained terribly confused, and the university website was still down at the time of writing.
A university spokesperson said in a statement: “Universities continue to experience a wide range of IT disruption issues that may have been caused by cyberattacks.
“The university is now working with many agencies, including the police, to find out exactly what happened and the scope of the problem.”
The spokesman encouraged students to attend face-to-face lectures on campus, but had plans to help those studying further away.
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Universities continue to experience a wide range of IT problems with all the characteristics of cyberattacks. Our phone lines, websites and IT systems are still down. @Graemethedean @sunderlandsu @UoSFutures @UniOfSunComms pic.twitter.com/2h21JLHib6
— University of Sunderland (@sunderlanduni) October 13, 2021
Although the nature of the suspicious cyber incident has not been disclosed, there have been a series of ransomware attacks on universities in the last 18 months, including nearby Newcastle, where Newcastle University and North Sunbria University were attacked in the fall of 2020. Doppel Paymer Ransomware gang.
Other higher education facilities affected over the past year include South and City College in Birmingham, the University of Northampton, and the University of Hertfordshire, and the National University of Ireland, Galway, was attacked in October.
In addition, in 2020, nearly 20 UK-based universities and charities were hit by a global ransomware attack targeting US-based cloud computing provider Blackbaud.
Higher education institutions have become an important focus of ransomware gangs because they hold sensitive data from research activities and large amounts of personal records, and because the turmoil quickly becomes apparent. The post-blocking release coincided with a surge in the number of attacks.
In June, the NCSC updated its warning to higher education institutions, stating that it is “investigating a further increase in ransomware attacks on UK schools, universities and universities.”
Regarding the news, Danny Lopez, CEO of security vendor Glasswall Solutions, said: “Educational institutions should follow NCSC’s advice and adopt a“ defense-in-depth ”approach to cybersecurity.
“This means using multiple layers of defense with some mitigation measures, which gives you more opportunities to detect malware and prevent it from doing widespread harm to your organization. However, even if all procedures and policies are properly implemented, the enemy is always considering investigating vulnerabilities. “
University of Sunderland suffers from “widespread IT turmoil” after cyberattack
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