UMass Lowell cancels classes for several days due to cybersecurity attacks

Massachusetts

LOWELL, Mass. (WWLP) – Cybersecurity attacks continue to be a growing concern across the country, threats have grown an estimated 67 percent since 2014.

UMass Lowell was forced to shut down on Tuesday and Wednesday due to cybersecurity concerns, in-person and online classes were cancelled. The university announced Wednesday night that business will resume on Thursday, but classes will remain cancelled.

Experts say that attacks on businesses and institutions often start with email phishing campaigns.
These emails, disguised as official, ask the recipient for login information, once obtained, hackers have easy access.

22News reached out to UMass Amherst, to see if the campus was also being impacted by the security attack at UMass Lowell.

Cyberattacks have become more frequent in higher education in the past year as campuses operated remotely. Common attacks include phishing, malware, social engineering, ransomware, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Mary Dettloff, UMass Spokesperson

Shawn Weaver, senior systems analyst at Northeast IT Systems told 22News, “With everybody working remotely, it’s increased companies’ exposure, which has made it easier for these attackers to get in.”

Never click on links or open emails that look suspicious without contacting an expert first.

UMass Lowell will also close campus Friday to recognize the Juneteenth holiday.

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