On August 30th the University of Michigan announced it had finally restored its internet connectivity and Wi-Fi network, according to the Ann Arbor News, “after several days of outages caused by a ‘significant security concern,’ officials said.” The outage coincided with the first days of the new school year, although “classes continued through the outage.”

The internet was shut down on 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, after the Information Assurance team at the university identified a security concern, according to previous reporting. The Information Assurance team fights cybersecurity threats and malicious actors… The investigation into the security issue is ongoing and no other information will be released, said Santa Ono, president of University of Michigan.

But a local CBS station heard some theories from cybersecurity experts:

“The fact that they took their systems down, like proactively took their systems down, is the indication that it is a cybersecurity incident,” said co-founder and CTO of SensCy Dave Kelly. “The reason why you do that is that you don’t want it to spread further.”

“They probably didn’t know to what extent they’d been compromised,” senior penetration tester and ethical hacker at NetWorks Group Chris Neuwirth said. “They probably didn’t know how many accounts were compromised or the initial entry point that the threat actor used to gain access into the network.” Sources close to the investigation told CBS News Detroit that U-M detected malware on its Wi-Fi network and decided to shut it down in response.

So, did the school avoid a disaster? Neuwirth thinks it very well could have. “They likely had very robust backups and data recover, plans, procedures in place that helped them make the decision very confidently and rapidly,” he said. “Four days in that they’re already bringing up their systems tells me that it’s likely that a lot of what they had been preparing for worked.”

Kelly said these types of incidents are on the rise. “There’s been a large increase in cybersecurity incidents,” he said. It’s been trending up, quite frankly, for the last several years. It used to be that these threat actors were targeting the government and Fortune 500 companies, but they’ve started to, more and more over the years, look at universities.”

Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader regoli for sharing the news.

Originally Posted at https://slashdot.org/