Newcastle University in the UK was crippled by a ransomware attack at the beginning of September.

Crooks locked down all university system and are threatening to expose private files of student and staff unless a ransom is paid.

The university was forced to shut or curtail access to all systems. According to the university, “All University systems – with the exceptions of those listed in the communications (Office365 – including email and Teams, Canvas and Zoom) are either unavailable or available but with limitations. Access may cease at any point.”

The university said it could not guarantee that research and other work stored in its system is safe and admitted students’ private information could be compromised.

Also, the university said it couldn’t give a firm timeline when service would be back to normal.

They didn’t say how their system was compromised but most ransomware attacks happen when someone using the system is tricked into accessing malware with a phishing email. Other times, hackers get in through security flaws in the network.