Howard University Partially Reopens After Being Hit with a Ransomware Cyberattack

IBL News | New York

Howard University in Washington, DC, partially reopened Wednesday after a ransomware cyberattack forced the institution to cancel classes for two days.

“The situation is still being investigated,” said the university in a statement. “To date, there has been no evidence of personal information being accessed or exfiltrated.”

Online and hybrid undergraduate courses remained suspended, while all in-person undergraduate, graduate, professional, and clinical experiential courses resumed yesterday.

The university deployed alternative Wi-Fi hot spots on campus as a way to provide access to course lecture content, academic modules, and apps requiring Internet access. However, only some apps were accessible and extended courses deadlines.

The ransomware attack was detected on Friday.

Howard University — one of the leading historically Black colleges and universities, with over 11,000 students — is working with FBI and city officials and installing additional safety measures to protect data.

In recent months, the U.S. has seen a surge in the number of ransomware attacks in the U.S.

These attacks have become a growing concern for educational institutions and school districts, as they hold troves of private data.

Researchers recently estimated that 3,880 schools and universities have experienced ransomware attacks since 2018, costing billions in downtime and ransom payments.

Cybercriminals have hit not only educational institutions but hospitals, pipelines, private companies, and local governments.