Howard University on Monday said it has experienced a ransomware cyberattack after noticing “unusual activity on the University’s network” last week. The situation is sill being investigated, but the university cancelled classes Tuesday “to give our IT team more time to address the issue,” it said in a release.
The school’s Enterprise Technology Services shut down the university’s network to investigate what happened, and has been working to restore operations as soon as possible, Howard says. In the meantime, the physical campus is open only to essential employees, and campus Wi-Fi is down until the university can “determine the best and safest path to stand it up.”
Howard 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.”
The university said it’ll update faculty and students each day at 2 p.m. about whether campus operations will resume the next day. On Tuesday, Howard said the situation is still being investigated, and that, “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.”
All online and hybrid undergraduate courses are still suspended for Wednesday, and only essential employees can access the physical campus. In-person undergraduate, graduate, professional and clinical experiential courses will resume.