University says it’s now restoring its backups to fight the malware, students advised to keep computers off

Dec 1, 2016 08:48 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 
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​Hackers managed to infect the systems of a Canadian university with ransomware and are now demanding 39 Bitcoin (approximately $28,500) to unlock the files.

Carleton University has already confirmed the attack and said that students should turn off their computers until the malware is removed, advising everyone to avoid connecting to the university wireless network for the time being.

“Carleton University is open, classes are continuing and all employees are expected at work.  Business operations at the university are continuing. Progress continues to be made on the network interruption issues,” the University said in an update a few hours ago.

The good thing in this breach is that the university created backups and has already started restoring them, so the IT department is hard at work to cope with the attack as we speak.

No personal information compromised

In an update posted earlier today, the university guarantees that no personal information has been accessed by the attackers, so students and staff are all secure. The attackers only attempted to deploy the malware and then encrypt the files to demand a ransom.

“Access to email has returned and is functioning.  Repairs to enterprise systems are progressing. With the return of email, all future updates will be emailed to faculty and staff. If users are able to use their computer to conduct business, they are encouraged to do so.  If they cannot, they are asked to refrain from turning their computers on and encouraged to call CCS Service Desk,” the university added.

At this point, no other details are known about the ransomware infection or the hacker or hackers who managed to break into the university’s systems.

By the looks of things, the university has no intention to pay the attackers to remove the infection, but restoring the backups could take a little longer. Students are strongly recommended to ignore messages from attackers, as the IT department warns that popups could show up on more computers connected to the local Wi-Fi network.

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