Waterloo University in Canada confirmed that it has fallen victim to extortionists who carried out an attack on the university’s email system. As per reports, the attack occurred on May 30th but could be prevented from encrypting data on the email servers.
The university claims that the safety breach occurred before the attack could be prevented, resulting in data encryption affecting only the users who relied on the local Microsoft Exchange service instead of the cloud-based service.
Following the attack, the university had to discontinue its postal system, causing difficulties for students using email accounts to access university educational platforms or create new accounts. However, most Microsoft Exchange accounts are cloud-based and unaffected, allowing for uninterrupted access to email for the majority of the student population on-campus.
The university took swift action, announcing the full restart of the system for six hours at night. During this time, students and faculty members were unable to access the online library or course materials. In response, the university has requested staff and students to change their passwords by June 8 to prevent any further compromise of sensitive information, and those who fail to do so before the deadline will require assistance from the university IT team to regain access to their emails.
The University has since notified the Incident Regional Police of Waterl but no groups of extortionists have claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet.