Someone’s obviously trying to come up on Howard University again, but this time it’s just not as meme-able (or profitable, in Tyrone Hankerson Jr.’s case).
Howard University canceled classes on Tuesday after being hit with a ransomware attack last week. Both the FBI and local D.C. government are involved after the school’s information technology team detected unusual activity on the school’s network.
According to The Hill, a news release from the historically Black university 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.” The network was promptly shut down for investigation after the activity was clocked on Friday.
The school also noted that although its dining halls will remain open, the campus is only open for essential workers. Students and nonessential employees were advised to stay home until further notice.
According to NBC 4 Washington:
Officials said there is “not an overnight solution” and they will provide an update at 2 p.m. each day regarding campus operations for the following day.
The physical campus is open to essential employees only; nonessential employees were asked to stay home. Both of Howard’s dining halls will remain open.
“Campus Wi-Fi will remain down until we determine the best and safest path to stand it up,” Howard officials said. “Some applications are stored in the cloud and will remain active and accessible.”
In its statement, Howard also said it will implement new online safety measures to protect its students’ data and its facilities.
Ransomware seems to be the popular way to hit a lick (i.e. rob people) this past year. According to The Hill, U.S. companies Colonial Pipeline and JBS USA, have already spent millions to recover from ransomware attacks. NBC News reports that ransomware and subsequently cybersecurity have been a major concern all 2021. These attacks have already cost Americans over an estimated $1.4 billion dollars in 2020. Howard is just lucky enough to have seemingly caught it in time.