Howard University

Classes Canceled Tuesday at Howard U After Ransomware Attack

There has been no evidence of personal information being accessed or taken, but the investigation is ongoing, university officials said

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Howard University officials say the school was hit by a ransomware attack Friday, and classes are canceled Tuesday as the campus network remains down.

All online and hybrid undergraduate classes will remain suspended on Wednesday, but in-person undergraduate, graduate, professional and clinical experiential courses will resume, the school announced Tuesday afternoon. Course lecture content requiring internet access on campus may not be available, the school said.

The school's information technology team detected unusual activity on Howard's network on Friday, officials said. The network was then intentionally shut down to investigate the situation.

"Based on the investigation and the information we have to date, we know the University has experienced a ransomware cyberattack," the university posted on its website.

Howard officials are in contact with the FBI and the District government, the university said.

At this point, there has been no evidence of personal information being accessed or taken, but the investigation is ongoing, university officials said.

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.

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The physical campus was open Tuesday to essential employees only; nonessential employees were asked to stay home. Both of Howard's dining halls remained 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."

Faculty with alternative Wi-Fi connection options such as hot spots will be able to access online academic modules and apps, and can coordinate class convening via a university-approved platform, the university said Tuesday afternoon.

Howard said it would extend the add/drop deadline for courses. Specific details will be provided once confirmation of BisonWeb and Wi-Fi access for students on campus is provided.

Anyone with information about the cyberattack or who notices any suspicious activity is asked to report it to helpdesk@howard.edu.

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