University of Sunderland continues to experience 'extensive disruption' after suspected cyber attack
The University of Sunderland is continuing to experience “extensive disruption” after a suspected cyber attack, and is working with police to find out how its IT system may have been breached.
University chiefs confirmed a number of computer systems remain out of action and online classes continue to be cancelled.
The university’s website also remains closed for “essential maintenance”.
The Echo understands online classes were halted and staff have been facing difficulties accessing email.
An updated statement from a University spokesman said: "The University continues to experience extensive IT disruption issues believed to have been caused by a cyber-attack.
“The University is now working with a number of agencies, including the police, to find out what exactly has happened and the extent of the problems.”
Students are being urged to continue to attend on-campus classes and contingency measures are being put in place to support remote learning.
The spokesman added: “Students are being encouraged to come onto all University campuses where face-to-face teaching is continuing and information help-desks will be available to offer guidance and support.
"For those studying further afield, plans have been made to ensure they can continue doing so, with minimum disruption.
"We continue to update staff and students on the situation through the University channels we have available, including all our social media platforms.
"We take the security of our systems extremely seriously and will work to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."
It is not the first time a North East university has been hit by a cyber attack, with both Northumbria and Newcastle targeted in 2020.
The latter was the victim of a ransomware attack, understood to have taken weeks to fully resolve.