Cyberattack struck Ryerson’s network before reading week

Ryerson is investigating a cyberattack on the university’s internet networks that happened just before reading week.

The university’s internet connection and, depending on whether you were on or off campus, Ryerson-hosted websites were down from Friday, Oct. 9 at 11 p.m. to Saturday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m., according to Brian Lesser, the university’s chief information officer.

During the attack, a network device failure caused a delay in bringing the Ryerson internet network back online.

When past attacks happened, Ryerson worked with internet service providers, network and security vendors to resolve them. However, the Computing and Communications Services (CCS) staff said they took time and decided to “act methodically” in order to resolve the problem without allowing other risks, they said in an email sent to faculty on Oct. 13.

A screenshot taken on Oct. 28 at 1:30 p.m. of cyberattacks around the world from Norse (map.norsecorp.com)

A screenshot taken on Oct. 28 at 1:30 p.m. of cyberattacks around the world from Norse (map.norsecorp.com)

CCS said that no private information was taken during the attack.

“To date, we have not uncovered any evidence that any sensitive or confidential information was targeted, accessed or stolen,” the service department said in a post published on Oct. 10.

Lesser said he does not have evidence of where the attack came from or whether it was from a compromised Ryerson account, but CCS is still working on finding out those details.

The university has enlisted the help of an external company to investigate the root cause of the attack and prevent future ones from happening.

CCS brought the network back online on Oct. 10 for Canadian users and gradually expanded access to Ryerson resources to the rest of the world.

This article was published in the print edition of the Ryersonian on Oct. 28, 2015.

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