Maastricht University will use help lines for students and staff in the short term, writes 1Limburg. They can go there with their questions regarding the cyberaanval that took place on Christmas Eve. The university will also open its doors again on January 2, regardless of the situation surrounding the attack.
The university’s systems got infected with ransomware on Tuesday. With this hostage software, hackers block computers and files until the victim pays a certain amount of money. Since Christmas Eve, students and staff no longer have access to data and e-mail. There is also no access to much scientific data.
The university has nineteen thousand students and 4,500 employees and has already received more than 250 questions in recent days. The Executive Board and the deans of the faculties want to “see together in the short term whether students and staff who encounter problems due to this situation can be accommodated in any way”, explains the University.
When the systems will be up and running again, it is not yet known “considering the size and extent of the attack”. For the same reason, according to the university, it is also not possible to state exactly which systems are affected and which are not. According to the university, this requires “further specialist research”. Measures will also be taken to better withstand such attacks in the future.
Moreover, the university indicates that special attention is paid to urgent and important issues, such as timetables, exams, theses, applications (fixus courses), grant applications, research projects, and applications. “We are looking for solutions for this and we want to offer more clarity quickly.”
On Friday, the university announced that it was talking to the attackers. Whether ransom has been demanded and whether the university is willing to pay is not known.