Tennessee Wesleyan University was the target of a cyber attack that held certain files for ransom last week.

The university is currently investigating the attack that was made on the campus network early Friday morning along with local officials, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), and TWU’s insurance company’s cyberattack team.

According to a press release by TWU, all of the university’s networks had been shut down since just before 10 a.m. as campus officials became aware of the attack.

“To this point, and to the university’s knowledge, it seems the attack only affected computers which were connected to the university network at the time of the attack,” the release stated. “The university is still working to figure out which files were accessed.”

TWU students, faculty and staff have been asked to remain disconnected from university systems. Online classes remain functional as Sakai, the school’s learning management system, is unaffected by the attack.

The attack reportedly happened a few hours prior to its discovery.

“The attack occurred between 4 and 4:30 a.m., Friday, and employees first reported network outages as they arrived on campus. The university made the decision to shut down the network mid-morning to preserve as much information as possible,” the release continued. “At 1:40 p.m., TWU’s insurance company notified the university they had begun investigating the attack and are developing a plan for bringing the network back online.”

According to TWU Interim Assistant Vice President for Admissions, Marketing and Communications Katherine Davis, they hope to have the issue fixed soon.

“We do believe that they figured out how to fix it up,” she said. “Our cybersecurity team remains diligent in isolating the issues and working to safely restore our networks.”

The type of cyberattack the university is facing is known as ransomware.

Email shane.duncan@


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