Brown University, a private Ivy League research university, founded in 1764 and the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States was recently hit by a cyberattack.

The cyberattack was detected on Tuesday, the 30th of March, and focused on the University’s Windows-based devices forcing the University to disable systems and cut connections to the data center in order to keep sensitive data safe.

The University’s Computing & Information Services staff took “a number of aggressive steps to protect the University’s digital resources, including shutting down connections to our central data center and systems within it.”

An investigation was immediately launched to determine which specific systems were impacted and restore the complicated systems to operation as quickly as possible.


Brown’s IT security team became aware of a cybersecurity threat to the University’s Microsoft Windows-based technology infrastructure. Staff in Computing & Information Services took immediate steps to mitigate the threat, launched an investigation and began to develop a full response plan.

Given the nature of the threat, CIS has taken a number of aggressive steps to protect the University’s digital resources, including shutting down connections to our central data center and systems within it. While many of our cloud-based systems — including Canvas, Zoom and Workday — remain up and running, other systems are temporarily disabled. Among the most commonly accessed resources that are temporarily unavailable are Banner, VPN, RemoteApps and some websites hosted on We are working with colleagues across the University and are committed to getting systems back online as quickly as possible.



It seems that the attack focused on the University’s Windows-based devices, therefore the faculty and staff were asked to switch to computers running other operating systems, smartphones, or tablets.

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For the time being there are no details regarding the nature of the incident, but the statement made by Brown’s CIO seems to be hinting at a malware attack.

 Employees can contact their IT Support Consultant (ITSC) or Departmental Computing Coordinator (DCC) to determine if their Windows machine has ‘known-clean’ status.


Brown’s IT staff is still working on restoring connectivity and bringing additional systems back online to return operating status to normal, so far being able to bring back online most websites, the domain, and listserv services.

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