Cyber attack: Stay secure

January 18, 2024
1 min read

TLDR:

  • Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus experienced a cybersecurity incident in December 2023.
  • A ransomware attack encrypted data on several servers and workstations.
  • Containment efforts, including isolating the network, analyzing evidence, and implementing additional security measures, have been implemented.
  • In-person classes at Grenfell Campus resumed on January 8, 2024.
  • Recovery efforts are ongoing and services and systems will look different than before.
  • No evidence of compromised personal information has been found at this time.
  • Memorial University is cooperating fully with law enforcement.
  • Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus recently experienced a cybersecurity incident in which an unauthorized third party gained access to the network and encrypted data on servers and workstations. The incident was confirmed to be a ransomware attack. Immediate security protocols were put in place to isolate affected systems, start an investigation, and inform authorities. The university has been working with external cybersecurity experts to contain the impact on academic, research, student, and administrative activities at Grenfell Campus.

    Containment efforts have included isolating the Grenfell network, collecting and analyzing evidence, implementing additional security measures, and monitoring tools. The university is also scanning and ensuring the safety of data before restoring it in a safe environment, resetting passwords, and taking other necessary steps. Thanks to these efforts, in-person classes at Grenfell Campus have already resumed on January 8, 2024.

    Efforts to recover the systems involved in the incident are currently underway. However, it is expected that the services and systems will be different than they were before the incident. Memorial University acknowledges and appreciates the hard work and support of its faculty, staff, and students during these unusual circumstances.

    At this time, there is no evidence that any personal information was compromised during the incident. If any personal information is found to be compromised in the ongoing investigation, Memorial University will notify the appropriate authorities and impacted individuals. The university is fully cooperating with law enforcement agencies, including reporting the incident to the National Cybercrime Coordination Centre, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, the Centre for Cyber Security, and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

    The university will provide further updates on its website as information becomes available. Memorial University remains committed to protecting the information entrusted to them and ensuring the continuity of operations for students, faculty, and staff as much as possible.

    Dr. Neil Bose, the president and vice-chancellor pro tempore at Memorial University, can be reached at president@mun.ca for more information.

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