Howard University was forced to cancel classes Tuesday after it was hit with a ransomware attack during Labor Day weekend, the university said in a statement.
The school said it’s been working to fully address the situation and restore operations and is asking students and staff to “please consider that remediation, after an incident of this kind, is a long haul – not an overnight solution.”
University officials added the campus was open to essential employees Wednesday, but online classes were cancelled and the campus WiFi is still down. The university has not identified who was responsible for the attack.
“We are currently working with leading external forensic experts and law enforcement to fully investigate the incident and the impact,” officials at Howard said. “To date, 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.
According to a Good Morning America report, the FBI and the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) were warning companies before the Labor Day holiday to be wary of ransomware attacks. The agencies noted the last three large scale ransomware attacks came on holidays. The Colonial Pipeline hack occurred on Mother’s Day. The attack on meat supplier JBS came on Memorial Day and IT management company Kaseya was hacked on Independence Day.
Attacks on companies have skyrocketed as companies continue to cut corners on cybersecurity. The FBI and CISA received more than 790,000 complaints related to ransomware and other cyberattacks. Both agencies believe this year will easily pass 2020 figures.
Howard University recently announced the expansion of a partnership with JPMorgan Chase in which the bank will assist the university on cybersecurity and fraud protections well as becoming the university’s primary bank