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Hacker attack paralyzes a Hamburg university

The communication infrastructure of the HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences remains shut down due to the hacker attack almost a week ago.

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Hacker attack paralyzes a Hamburg university

The communication infrastructure of the HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences remains shut down due to the hacker attack almost a week ago. "Since the damage assessment is still ongoing, no reliable forecast can be made at the moment as to when which IT services will be available again," said the university's website on Wednesday.

Last Thursday, it was discovered that hackers had worked their way manually from decentralized IT systems through the network to the central IT and security components at HAW. The encryption of various platforms and the deletion of stored backups were then started.

"We have to assume that the leaked information also includes personal data," the university said. The HAW therefore reported it to the State Criminal Police Office and reported the incident to the Hamburg data protection officer. According to the information, almost 16,900 students are enrolled at the HAW in the 2022/23 winter semester.

Since learning materials and information on the upcoming examination phase are currently not available, the deadlines for submitting term papers and the like are initially being postponed by three weeks, according to the HAW. “The top priority here is to find accommodating and feasible solutions for the students.” Deadline extensions are also planned for the application phase for the summer semester, which officially lasts until January 15.

In the current winter semester, face-to-face teaching should start regularly on Monday, provided that access to the rooms is guaranteed. "This may not be the case in the PC rooms and laboratories." The libraries are open and can be used in person. However, it is not possible to borrow or return media.

Another Hamburg institution had already fallen victim to a hacker attack in the week before Christmas. Internet criminals had attacked the municipal company Hamburger Friedhöfe AöR, and data was blocked for a few days. However, no personal data was lost here, as it was said.

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