Howard University canceled classes Tuesday, September 7th after being hit by a ransomware attack.
An announcement from HBCU reveals that the attack turned off campus WiFi and non-essential employees were instructed not to report for work. Face-to-face classes will resume on Wednesday, but online classes will be canceled until at least Thursday.
Howard said his IT team first noticed problems last Friday. CNBC reports that it is common for ransomware hackers to begin their attacks at the beginning of a weekend or holiday, when fewer employees are likely to be on standby to stop them quickly. The school says it has since notified federal law enforcement agencies.
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Howard’s campus WiFi is still down. The university says it is working on implementing an emergency replacement system.
According to Allan Liska, an analyst with cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, ransomware attacks have been widespread in recent years, with universities being common targets. CNBC reports that hackers managed to infect at least 19 colleges and universities in 2021 alone.