Howard U. in-person classes to resume after ransomware attack

D.C.’s Howard University will resume in-person classes Wednesday, after all classes Tuesday were cancelled in the wake of a ransomware attack last week.

“All in-person undergraduate, graduate, professional, and clinical experiential courses will resume as scheduled” Wednesday, the university said in a statement. Online and hybrid undergraduate classes are once again canceled, and campus Wi-Fi remains down.

All classes were canceled Tuesday after the school said it “detected unusual activity” on its computer network Friday and intentionally shut it down to investigate.

“Based on the investigation and the information we have to date, we know the University has experienced a ransomware attack,” the school told students in a Monday email.

The historically Black university said the FBI and D.C. government are in the loop, and the school is installing additional safety measures to protect the school’s and students’ information.

“To date, there has been no evidence of personal information being accessed or exfiltrated; however, our investigation remains ongoing, and we continue to work toward clarifying the facts surrounding what happened and what information has been accessed,” according to the email to students.

The campus has been open to essential employees only. Both on-campus dining halls remain open.

Each afternoon at 2 p.m., the community will be briefed on the status of campus operations for the next day.

“This is a moment in time for our campus when IT security will be at its tightest. We recognize that there has to be a balance between access and security; but at this point in time, the University’s response will be from a position of heightened security.”

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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