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University of Winnipeg Says Staff, Student Data Stolen in Cyber Attack

April 4, 2024 4:11 PM | News

University of Winnipeg

The University of Winnipeg (GETTY IMAGES)

The University of Winnipeg says a cyber attack that crippled its network last month resulted in the theft of personal information belonging to staff and students.

In an email Thursday, the university said data was stolen from a file server sometime in the week before March 24, when the breach was first detected.

All current employees and former employees employed since 2003, had their names, social insurance numbers, dates of birth, street addresses, phone numbers, and compensation information compromised.

All current employees and former employees employed since 2015 had their bank account information exposed.

The personal information of some students was also affected, including students enrolled in the University of Winnipeg undergraduate and graduate programs since the academic year beginning in September 2018. Other groups of affected individuals are outlined on the university’s website.

“As a proactive step, we will be providing individuals who are likely affected a two-year credit monitoring service,” the university said.

The cyber attack initially resulted in the cancellation of classes the day after the breach was realized, as well as the delay of university exams. Access to campus WiFi, email accounts, student file systems and class registration was also impacted.

It’s unclear if the attackers demanded a ransom from the university as part of the breach.

“It is disturbing that higher education institutions like the University and other public sector organizations are being targeted by cyber attacks,” the statement said.

“This has been a terrible incident that has directly impacted our community, and for that we are deeply sorry. Rest assured that we will carefully consider the results of our investigation with a commitment to emerge from this incident with stronger cyber defences.”

The incident has been reported to law enforcement authorities and the Manitoba Ombudsman.

Further updates on the situation are being made available at uwinnipeg.ca/incident-updates.