A computer attack in the night from 6 to 7 May 2020 required a large part of the central IT infrastructure at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) to be taken out of service. The type of attack is currently being analysed. All central servers and backup systems that could be affected were shut down as an immediate measure.
Governments, companies or organisations – they all have to deal with a multitude of cyber attacks every day. Criminal hackers use a variety of methods to compromise systems or steal data in order to achieve profit.
On Thursday, 7 May 2020, a cyber attack forced the central IT infrastructure of the RUB, which is managed by the “IT Services” department – which is independent of the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security – to be taken out of operation. An analysis of the type of attack is currently underway. As an immediate measure, all central servers and backup systems that could be affected have been shut down.
“Experts from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the Bochum-based IT company G-Data jointly investigate the damage caused by the external computer attacks with encryption software on RUB from 7 May 2020. One thing is certain: the learning platform Moodle, which is necessary for digital teaching in the summer semester 2020, is not affected, nor are any other instruments such as Sciebo, Zoom or RUB-Cast.
These systems run on RUB servers that are not affected by the attack or on external servers. So the good news is: digital teaching at RUB can continue as planned.
Central servers particularly affected
According to current knowledge, central servers are particularly affected by the hacker attack, which are needed in the RUB administration for e.g. the Windows systems Exchange and Sharepoint. This is why email traffic with the RUB administration is currently disrupted. Wherever possible, employees use other services.
All potentially affected servers have been shut down and are currently closely analysed. The decision whether and when the servers are restarted, i.e. when the RUB administration goes back to normal, will be made based on the analysis results. Due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, most employees are working from home anyway. Alongside the analysis, a search for possible perpetrators is also being carried out. As the investigation is ongoing, current findings cannot be published at this point.” (RUB press information, May 8, 2020)
The latest information on the situation can be found in the RUB news portal.