While students across the country were preparing to return to universities and colleges following the COVID-19 pandemic, Newcastle University have been recovering from a cyber security incident that has affected its IT systems.
The attack has already caused several days of disruption and the university warns that it could “take several weeks” to get all affected systems up and running again.
Although Newcastle University only stated that it suffered a cyber attack, it is highly likely to be ransomware and according to BleepingComputer, the DoppelPaymer gang are claiming credit for the attack, posting a small amount of exfiltrated data as proof.
Newcastle University IT Services are working to restore their IT systems and the police and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have both been informed about the incident. Due to the early stage of the investigation, officials did not disclose whether any personal information was compromised.
The announcement follows a similar incident at Northumbria University. It is still unclear whether or not either university were specifically targeted, but educational establishments are often thought of as easy targets for cyber criminals due to under investment in cyber security over recent years.