Sunderland University hit by suspected cyber-attack

The university said it was working with police and other agencies to find out what happened

The University of Sunderland has revealed it suffered a suspected cyberattack that affected its telephone lines, website and IT services. 

The university announced it was experiencing “extensive IT disruption” with “all the hallmarks of a cyber-attack” on its official Twitter account. It was working with police and other agencies to find out what happened, the statement added. 

The local newspaper Sunderland Echo reported that the university had suspended online classes. The university said face-to-face teaching would continue “as far as possible”. 

The statement read: “We intend to continue face-to-face teaching as far as possible and will continue to update our staff and students, as well as continue working with the police.

“We take the security of our systems extremely seriously, and we will resolve this as quickly as we can.”

In July, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) updated its guidance on ransomware following a spate of attacks on the education sector. 

In May, five tertiary education and technology organisations across the UK, US, Canada and Australia have partnered to launch a new cybersecurity threat intelligence-sharing system to protect education institutions around the globe.

Jisc, the UK’s tertiary education technology body and runs the national research and education network (NREN), Janet, was one of the founding partners. AARNet, Australia’s NREN, the Canadian Shared Security Operations Centre (CanSSOC), the US HE shared cybersecurity operations centre, OmniSOC, and the US Research and Education Networks Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC).

Read more: Essay mill hackers target university platforms, Jisc warns

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