MA: UMass Lowell closed due to cybersecurity incident
The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) has suffered a cybersecurity breach that has caused school closures for the past two days. The incident was first announced on June 15 as an “IT outage:”
6/15/2021 8:25 AM EDT
UMass Lowell, including the Haverhill campus, is closed on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 due to an IT outage. All in-person and remote classes and operations are canceled. Essential personnel are to report as directed.
The university’s normal site is currently unreachable, but the university has been posting updates on a temporary site. An update posted yesterday afternoon alerted students and employees:
Out of an abundance of caution, all network communications have been suspended by the university to and from the campus network while the scope of the incident is evaluated. Employees may notice a software program, Red Cloak, temporarily installed on all university devices by IT to identify and evaluate potential security threats. If any threats are identified, IT will correct the issues and then begin incrementally restoring network services, prioritizing academic technology infrastructure such as Blackboard and Zoom.
The university remained closed today, with all in-person and online classes and business operations canceled. A notice posted late Wednesday afternoon stated that classes will still be canceled tomorrow:
While university business operations will resume Thursday, June 17, UMass Lowell will cancel classes June 17 and is working to finalize new Summer I session timelines to allow for make-up dates and extended assignment deadlines. The university is closed Friday, June 18 as planned in recognition of the Juneteenth holiday.
The university’s notices emphasize that the school retains control over its IT infrastructure, and the university has not revealed what kind of incident this is or if there has been any ransom demand.
Editing by Dissent