LOWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - The University of Massachusetts Lowell canceled all in-person and remote classes for the second day in a row amid an investigation into a “possible cybersecurity incident” that is affecting technology services, officials said.
“UMass Lowell continues to retain control over its IT infrastructure and is working with a leading cyber forensics firm to identify, evaluate, and eliminate any issues that are discovered. Out of an abundance of caution, all network communications have been suspended by the university to and from the campus network while the scope of the incident is evaluated,” school officials said in a statement.
Officials warned that employees may notice a software program called Red Cloak temporarily installed on all university-owned devices by IT staff to identify and evaluate potential security threats.
The issue is also said to be impacting the university’s Haverhill campus.
Cybersecurity expert Jeremy Ventura says online cyber threats like this are all too common across the country.
“Unfortunately we are seeing more and more every single day about different attacks that are arising,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what industry these businesses are in. We’re seeing things around critical infrastructure, the food industry, state and local departments, school systems. These attacks are really affecting everybody and it’s really because a lot of it is pretty easy.”
Ventura says there are steps businesses, organizations and industries can take to protect themselves.
“Making sure that your employees are trained; making sure they know what a phishing email looks like,” he suggested. “Do I have isolated backups just in case an attack does happen, can I restore my systems?”
There has been no timetable determined for a full restoration of services as UMass Lowell.
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