All classes canceled at Irish university as it announces ‘significant IT breach’

Munster Technological University (MTU) in Ireland announced on Monday that its campuses in Cork would be closed following a “significant IT breach and telephone outage.”

“All classes, full-time and part-time, are cancelled” on both Tuesday and Wednesday, the university’s statement said.

A number of learning tools, including one called Canvas used to manage student assignments, are reportedly affected. It is not clear how soon MTU expects to be able to get them up and running again, nor if classes will continue to be canceled from Thursday onwards. 

Staff and students have been asked to monitor their emails for further information.

“We have taken this precaution to allow us to fully assess the situation and protect our systems,” wrote the vice president Paul Gallagher.

The university, which was officially founded last year as a merger between the Cork Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology, Tralee, has more than 18,000 students.

It has six campuses — four in Cork which have been closed, and two in Tralee which remain open.

The attack comes amid a wave of similar incidents targeting German-speaking technical universities.

Last week, the University of Zurich, Switzerland’s largest university, announced it was the target of a “serious cyberattack.” 

During the last week of January, the Harz University of Applied Sciences in Saxony-Anhalt, Ruhr West University, and the EU/FH European University of Applied Sciences all also announced being impacted by cyberattacks.

Notably the name of the Irish province of Munster in the country’s southwest, for which the university is named, is very similar to the German city of Münster.

Alongside its normal classes the university was set to host a 'Cybersecurity for Business' workshop starting on next Monday.

It is not the first time that higher education establishments in Ireland have been impacted by a cyberattack. In April 2021, the National College of Ireland and the Technological University of Dublin were hit by ransomware attacks.

In September of the same year the National University of Ireland, Galway, announced that it had taken its systems offline after another attempted attack.

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Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin

is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.