- Ransomware gangs use the fear of getting people’s information leaked to get people to negotiate deals. Royal is a human-operated ransomware that was first observed in 2022 and has increased in appearance.
- The university announced that it might not be acceptable for some students to take a summer semester unit in this situation, so they will have the option to withdraw without any financial or academic penalty.
- While the university announced that no data was stolen, the Royal ransomware group has been publishing leaked data that can be traced back to the university.
The Queensland University of Technology is a public research university located in the urban coastal city of Brisbane, Australia. It has experienced a cybersecurity incident on Thursday 22 December 2022 which the Royal ransomware claims responsibility for. We have recently covered another attack by the Royal ransomware gang which was made on the company Intrado.
The university acknowledges that some students may decide that it is not acceptable for them to take a summer semester unit in this situation, so they will have the option to withdraw without any financial or academic penalty.
Some sensitive data has been leaked
The university says there is no evidence that data was stolen from them, but the Royal ransomware group has already started publishing data that they say was stolen from the QUT. This data includes HR files, email and letter communications, ID cards and documents, and financial and administrative documents. Systems currently unavailable in the university include the HiQ website and Digital Workplace, Blackboard, eStudent and SAMS, and Network drive folders including U Drive, HEAT, and Printers.
The university adds that:
- Learning and teaching (including assessment) for the majority of summer semester units that use Blackboard will be rescheduled to run after 23 January 2023. A small number of Blackboard units will be able to continue as they are placement and project units. We will publish these specialist units on the website as soon as possible and your unit coordinator will communicate with you directly about these arrangements.
- Semester 2, 2022 supplementary/deferred exams currently scheduled for 9-21 January 2023 will be postponed until early February.
- The new Canvas system is operational however, links to other systems required for assessment may be affected. Therefore, we will continue with teaching in units using Canvas and share relevant information about assessment when available.
- Teaching will continue for QUT College students as per the advice provided before the university shut down and the College will communicate directly with you.
- Start QUT units for high school students will run as scheduled.
- Professional doctorate and corporate and executive education units will continue unless otherwise advised.
- HDR students and post-doctorates can return to campus on 3 January.
They have also advised everyone to:
- Please remain vigilant for any suspicious activity via email, SMS, phone, or other channels.
- Do not interact with printers on campus, U Drive, or any suspicious files until further notice.
- If the printer in your workspace has been affected, please turn it off.
- At this stage, no further action is required. We will notify you if any steps become necessary.