University of Portsmouth closes campus due to 'ransomware attack' on IT services causing 'ongoing disruption'

THE University of Portsmouth has closed its campus due to ‘technical disruption’ to its IT network in what is believed to be a ransomware attack.

By Ben Fishwick
Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 12:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 5:39 pm

Bosses have warned staff who are on campus for essential services not to log into the network.

The institution’s buildings are closed until April 19. Students are currently on an Easter break.

An internal email seen by The News said: ‘The university has experienced disruption to IT services due to a ransomware attack.’

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University of Portsmouth library in Cambridge Road, Portsmouth, pictured in October 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

On Friday staff were told: ‘We have been experiencing some issues with our IT services this morning. We are investigating these issues, in the meantime a number of services will be unavailable while we carry out further investigations.’

A banner on the university’s website warns of IT disruption.

It’s understood that staff were initially told they can only retrieve data from the network, but cannot add or change anything on it.

A further email this week added: ‘Following on from last week's announcement we are continuing to experience technical disruption to our IT systems. Investigations are underway.

University of Portsmouth's Park building in King Henry I Street, Southsea. Picture: University of Portsmouth

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‘In order to minimise further issues, the campus will continue to be closed until Monday, April 19 apart from essential services.

‘All staff should therefore work from home unless you have been advised that you are required on campus.

‘If you are on campus, please do not long into the network.’

Asked about the cause, a spokesman told The News: ‘The University of Portsmouth is experiencing IT disruption.

‘This is currently being investigated. Staff and students have been notified.’

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