MTU confirms IT breach was caused by ransomware attack; Cork campuses remain closed

The university said that following the incident it has been in close and ongoing contact with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Data Protection Commission, an Garda Síochána and other relevant stakeholders including government departments.
MTU confirms IT breach was caused by ransomware attack; Cork campuses remain closed

Munster Technological University (MTU) has confirmed that the breach of its IT systems was caused by a ransomware attack. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Munster Technological University (MTU) has confirmed that the breach of its IT systems was caused by a ransomware attack.

In a statement, the university said that following “extensive and ongoing initial investigations” MTU can confirm that its Cork campuses have been targeted in a cyber attack with a ransom demanded.

“The incident was detected by our IT security systems last weekend with immediate steps being taken to intercept and manage the incident.

“The incident resulted in the encryption of certain MTU systems for the purpose of demanding a ransom,” MTU said.

The Kerry campuses of MTU remain unaffected.

The university said that following the incident it has been in close and ongoing contact with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Data Protection Commission, An Garda Síochána and other relevant stakeholders including government departments.

“We have engaged highly specialised services and have been working closely with the expert national authorities and our security partners in immediately instigating a dual process to investigate the cause and extent of the attack as well as the safest and most efficient recovery process.

“The nature and extent of this incident, including what data may have been breached, remains under investigation,” the statement continued.

MTU said that students and staff do not need to take any action at this time and MTU will notify any affected individuals in line with its data protection obligations.

“While it is still early in this process we are following all appropriate protocols and procedures in order to minimise and mitigate any impact that this incident may have and to facilitate the restoration of our education services as a top priority.

“We wish to reassure students and staff that we are looking at all of our options as part of this dynamic and evolving situation.

“We appreciate the patience of all students, staff and stakeholders while we complete this vital work,” MTU added.

MTU’S Cork campuses remain closed today and tomorrow.

Outdoor facilities, however, reopen today in order to facilitate pre-arranged, low-risk activities, such as sports training.

The university said it is now planning for a “phased and managed return” to teaching and learning from Monday, February 13.

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