Tennessee Wesleyan University was the target of a cyber attack last week in which certain files were held as ransom money.
The university is currently investigating the attack on the campus network early Friday morning along with local officials, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the TWU insurance company’s cyberattack team.
According to a press release from the TWU, all of the university’s networks had been closed since shortly before 10 a.m. when campus officials became aware of the attack.
“Up to this point and to the best of the university’s knowledge, the attack only seems to have affected computers that were connected to the university network at the time of the attack,” the press release said. “The university is still working to find out which files have been accessed.”
TWU students, faculties, and staff have been asked to remain segregated from the university systems. Online classes will remain functional as Sakai, the school’s learning management system, is unaffected by the attack.
The attack reportedly occurred a few hours before it was discovered.
“The attack happened between 4am and 4:30 am on Friday, and employees first reported network outages when they got to campus. The university has decided to close the network in the morning in order to get as much information as possible, ”the press release continued. “At 1:40 p.m., the TWU insurance company informed the university that they had begun investigating the attack and were developing a plan to get the network back online.”
They hope to fix the problem soon, according to Katherine Davis, interim assistant vice president of approvals, marketing and communications at TWU.
“We think they figured out how to fix it,” she said. “Our cybersecurity team is still keen to isolate the issues and work to restore our networks safely.”
The type of cyber attack the university is facing is known as ransomware.