The University of Michigan has taken a sweeping action in response to a cybersecurity incident, temporarily shutting down all of its systems and services. This incident has had a far-reaching impact on various online services, and the disruption occurred just before the commencement of classes.
The University of Michigan, one of the oldest and most expansive educational institutions in the United States, boasts a substantial workforce of over 30,000 academic and administrative personnel, along with an extensive student body of approximately 51,000 individuals.
Announcements posted on the University’s official website, starting on Sunday, detailed the unfolding cybersecurity incident that resulted in IT outages and the disruption of essential online services. Notable services affected included Google, Canvas, Wolverine Access, and email platforms.
In response to the severity of the incident, despite efforts to restore the impacted systems by the University’s IT team, the administration opted to disconnect the University of Michigan’s network from the broader internet. This decision was taken on Sunday afternoon and was explained as a precautionary measure to provide the IT teams with the necessary environment to address the issue in the safest possible manner.
This disconnect action encompassed both wired and WiFi campus internet access, M-Pathways, eResearch, DART, and various systems used in student registration processes. Although some services like Zoom, Adobe Cloud, Dropbox, Slack, Google, Canvas, and Adobe Cloud have been reinstated and are accessible from external networks, their availability remains somewhat unstable due to high demand.
Significantly, the timing of this cybersecurity incident is noteworthy, as it occurred on the brink of a new academic year, just as students and faculty were preparing to initiate their classes. In light of this untimely disruption, the University of Michigan’s administration has made the decision to waive late registration fees or disenrollment penalties for the month of August, alleviating some of the challenges faced by the academic community during this critical period.
The presently inaccessible systems are vital tools for students, serving as their means to access class-related information and to navigate the extensive campus, particularly during the initial days of the academic term. In recognition of the disruption caused by the lack of access, special considerations will be extended to students regarding attendance and assignments.
Moreover, the announcement includes a cautionary note that some financial aid disbursements and refunds might experience delays owing to the ongoing IT outage.
For the most current and accurate information regarding class schedules and locations, students are strongly encouraged to consult a dedicated webpage provided by the University.
The University of Michigan emphasizes its commitment to addressing the security incident and is actively collaborating with external cybersecurity experts and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate the nature and scope of the attack.
Bwkreators has sought additional information from the University of Michigan regarding the specifics of the security incident that has impacted the institution. However, as of the time of publication, we have yet to receive a response.
It is noteworthy that educational institutions in Michigan have faced a challenging month. Just three weeks ago, Michigan State University disclosed that it had fallen victim to the MOVEit data theft attacks, further highlighting the heightened cybersecurity risks faced by educational institutions in the region.