Over the week-end, the operating system at the University of Calgary was attacked by malware
IT teams at the Canadian university have been working non-stop to mitigate the damage. Discovered on Monday morning, the attack prompted a warning to all staff and students not to use any university machines or networks. The malware – unnamed – is still disrupting Skype for Business, exchange e-mail, Active Directory systems or secure wireless operation.
In a statement the University said, ‘Major progress has been made towards resolving current systems issues caused by malware, which is software intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.’ The official continued – ‘It is now safe to use Ucalgary-issued computers to access available Ucalgary networks and applications. There are a number of users who remain impacted by the malware and they will not be able to access any Ucalgary systems.’
So – the malware has NOT been eradicated.
The release went on to plead that everyone is vulnerable. The University admitted that they had no idea how the infection entered the system, though lectured all involved to be careful: “… it’s a good lesson to everybody to be very, very skeptical if somebody tells you to download a file or click on a link or go to this webpage,” said U of C professor and cyber-security specialist Tom Keenan.
The final piece of advice from the University was that everyone should report for work and study as normal.
A late submission?
Back in March, a local partnership of Calgary organizations – including the University – jointly organized a ‘Hackathon’: ‘The Calgary Regional Partnership and The City of Calgary want YOU to participate at this year’s Hackathon!’ In the Hackathon, competitors competed for a $5 000 first prize. They were challenged thus: “You will have three-days to develop a software solution, such as a mobile app, website, or mapping product that uses open data from the Calgary region. This year’s theme is connectivity – how will your idea help connect the Calgary region?”
Perhaps this is a piece of late homework. And perhaps the University of Calgary shouldn’t keep their data open.