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Lakehead University Shuts Down Campuses and Computers After Cyberattack

Alina BÎZGĂ

February 19, 2021

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Lakehead University Shuts Down Campuses and Computers After Cyberattack

Computer systems at Lakehead University (LU) in Ontario, Canada, remain offline after a cyberattack hit the public research institution on Tuesday.

In response to the attack, officials shut down all computer systems at the Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses. The message sent to faculty members and students doesn”t say how the threat actors managed to infiltrate the information systems of the university:

“Lakehead University’s Technology Services Centre (TSC) team is currently managing a cyber attack that is affecting our campuses’ servers. In order to protect our systems and data as much as possible, TSC has removed all access to our servers which affects both our campuses.”

All of Lakehead’s data and servers, including access to its website, have been offline since February 16. Online events such as two virtual tours of their campuses were also postponed.

In the latest update, the TSC said the attackers targeted LU’s file share servers. Consequently, the university cut off all access to these services, and campus computers remain unavailable until IT and cybersecurity experts determine the extent of the breach.

The attack will also likely affect upcoming events in the academic year. Students were advised to remain patient until faculty members provide further instructions.

“As course requirements and deadlines differ across programs, individual students may be impacted in multiple and varying ways,” Lakehead officials said. “Faculties are currently reviewing the situation and students will be updated by program or individual instructors about how concerns relating to assignments, exams and similar issues will be addressed.”

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