University of Sunderland cyber attack update: Chief issues message to staff and students on timescale for tackling problem

A university chief has said he is confident the cyber attack knocking out staff and student IT systems will be fought off in the coming days – but cannot give a ‘100% guarantee’.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 5:02 pm

As reported in the Echo, the University of Sunderland has been engulfed by a major cyber attack, which began on Tuesday, October 12.

The attack left IT systems crippled, with staff and students left unable to use email, online classes cancelled and the university’s website down.

Vice Chancellor Sir David Bell issued a message to staff, students and the wider community today thanking them for their resilience and efforts to ensure teaching and learning could still go ahead.

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Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland.

In a video message, he said the university had been working with agencies locally and nationally to resolve the issue.

He said: “Many of you will appreciate that a cyber attack can have an extreme impact on an organisation, sometimes lasting for weeks or even months.

"I can tell you today that I am confident this is not going to be our situation, thanks to the speed of our response and the tremendous work done to date.”

Sir David added he would give an update in the coming days but added he could not give a ‘100% guarantee that ‘everything will go to plan’.

He said it was important to proceed cautiously and he would update staff and students on the practical steps everyone at the university needed to take as IT systems were brought back online at the university.

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