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University confirms 'cyber security incident' after staff and students told to work from home

A university which asked students and staff to work at home due to IT issues has confirmed it was hit by a "cyber security incident" and an investigation has been launched.

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Wolverhampton University's Walsall Campus

On Tuesday the University of Wolverhampton, which has campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford, put out a message to all staff and students to advise them to stay at home after a systems issue across all of the university campuses.

University bosses have since confirmed that it responded to the incident "extremely quickly" and took immediate action to contain it and limit its impact.

Some systems were taken offline, resulting in some disruption to teaching.

An investigation into what happened has been launched.

It came as the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester suffered cyber attacks on the same day.

A group of hackers took responsibility for that attack, reportedly citing the 'UK’s continued support for Israel' as the reason for the activity.

However, there has been no confirmation on whether the same group had targeted the University of Wolverhampton.

A University of Wolverhampton spokesperson said: “Working with external IT security experts, we can now confirm that the university has experienced a cyber security incident.

“We were able to respond to this incident extremely quickly and took immediate action to contain it and limit its impact.

"As part of this action, we had to take some of our systems offline which resulted in some disruption to teaching.

"We have now put measures in place to conduct remote lectures in the short-term, alongside in-person teaching on campus where that is appropriate.

“Our investigation into what happened remains ongoing and is still in its early stages.

"Our experts have advised that this investigation will take some time to complete owing to its complexity, but we will provide our staff, students and partners with updates as soon as we can.”

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the University of Wolverhampton said: "Due to a systems issue across all of our campuses, we’re asking staff and students to stay at home today where you should be able to access Microsoft 365 systems.

"Please keep an eye on your university emails for further updates.

"The website is also temporarily unavailable for the time being.

"Please bear with us."