The University of Hertfordshire has suffered a devastating cyberattack that knocked out all of its IT systems, including Office 365, Teams and Zoom, local networks, Wi-Fi, email, data storage and VPN.
The university reported the hit by attackers on Wednesday, resulting in the cancellation of all online classes on Thursday and Friday.
“Shortly before 22:00 on Wednesday 14 April, the University experienced a cyber-attack which has impacted all of our systems, including those in the Cloud such as Canvas, MS Teams and Zoom,” it said in an update on its website.
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The university noted that the outage may impact students submitting assignments, but assured them that no student would be disadvantaged as a result.
Students were allowed to attend the university so long as computer access wasn’t necessary.
“You will not be able to access computer facilities in the LRCs, Labs or the University Wi-Fi. Remote access to specialist software and PCs is currently unavailable,” the university said.
Hertfordshire’s system status page, last updated 17 hours ago, shows the extent of the disruption.
It’s not clear what kind of cyberattack the university experienced, but the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) last month warned of a surge in ransomware attacks on schools, colleges and universities.
“In recent incidents affecting the education sector, ransomware has led to the loss of student coursework, school financial records, as well as data relating to COVID-19 testing,” the agency said.