Cyberattacks targeting Higher Education

Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility. Always STOP, THINK before you click or respond to any type of electronic communication.

At NJIT we are committed to protecting the safety and integrity of all University Data and Systems. However, over the past week, there has been an increase in Ransomware cyberattacks specifically targeting the education sector. Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid. 

A recent victim was Monroe University, New York City, where several key systems (Learning Management System, E-Mail, and Web Services) were taken offline. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/07/15/hackers-demand-2-million-monroe-college-ransomware-attack

Ransomware enters networks through malicious emails (phishing), or by being downloaded from infected websites. Once on a network, the infection is able to jump from one computer to another by exploiting vulnerabilities and prohibits users from accessing their own system or gaining access to their files.

To reiterate, NJIT's network has not been infected and Information Services and Technology Division (IST) is taking steps to continue to protect our systems.

Please be mindful of the following and you can safeguard yourself and the university from Cyberattacks:

  • Do not open any attachments you were not expecting even if they come from someone you know
  • Be wary of suspicious links in emails and websites

Computers that are owned and managed by NJIT are automatically kept up to date with Windows Updates and Antivirus.  For personally-owned computers or NJIT computers that are not managed by IST (in a private lab, off-campus, etc) we also recommend the following.

  •  Keep your Windows operating system up to date (run Windows Update if you are unsure)
  • Verify that your Antivirus protection is current and running (check with your Antivirus vendor for details on how to make sure you have the latest definitions and updates)

Don’t become a victim. Staying cyber safe and secure requires constant vigilance. Visit the following IST page for additional information http://ist.njit.edu/fraudulent-malicious-emails/

Suspicious emails can be reported to abuse@njit.edu.  In your report, please include the email header of the suspicious email. Instructions for finding an email header can be found here.
Last Updated: July 22, 2019