Cyberattack Hits University of Northampton
The attack on March 17th interrupted services to IT, Phone Systems and Servers.
The University announced, in a message posted on Twitter, it had been “working across the network to resolve the issue” and was “sorry for the inconvenience caused”.
Our UON phone and IT systems are currently down – we’re so sorry for the inconvenience caused. Our team is working across the network to resolve the issue, and we’ll update as soon as systems are up and running again.
— UniofNorthampton (@UniNorthants) March 17, 2021
BBC states that the breach occurred on March 17th, and, as a result, the Northamptonshire Police and also Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) were notified about the incident. The incident in question is currently being investigated by the specialists.
A spokesperson of the University declared for BBC that the impact suffered was severe. The IT Department staff had been advised on the proper procedure to restore services.
Meanwhile, temporary workaround solutions are extended by the University to support staff and students.
University representatives said it takes “the safety and security of our information also because the continuity of our systems and services extremely seriously” and can still implement all appropriate measures to shield the organization against cyber attacks.
It looks like cyberattacks targeting educational institutions are on the rise “as criminals target educational establishments with no reference to the disruption to teaching and learning such attacks cause”.
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A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said that it had been working with the National Cyber Security Centre to support the University and investigate this attack.
The incident is the latest in an exceeding series of cyberattacks on educational institutions within the UK in the past several months.
The NCSC, and also the Joint System Information Committee (JISC), issued an alert and guidance for colleges and universities, advising these institutions to implement a ‘defense in depth strategy to shield their systems and networks against malware and ransomware attacks.
“Your organisation should also have an incident response plan, which includes a scenario for a ransomware attack, and this should be exercised.
The University of Northampton declared that the attackers had “no regard to the disruption to teaching and learning such attacks cause”. At this time the attack is still under investigation as the attackers remain unidentified.