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Internet Access Mostly Restored at University of Michigan

Most systems at the university were back online Wednesday after a targeted attack Sunday had prompted officials to disconnect the university's server. Details on the attack are scant as it's still under investigation.

University of Michigan
(TNS) — The University of Michigan announced Wednesday that Internet access had been mostly restored to all of its campuses after a two-day outage prompted by a cybersecurity threat Sunday.

"We expect some issues with select U-M systems and services in the short term, and not all of our remediation efforts are complete," UM President Santa Ono wrote in a message to the campus community. "However, they will be resolved over the next several days."

A "significant security threat" prompted the school to separate its server from the Internet over the weekend. Ono said the university is still investigating.

"The investigative work into the security issue continues, and we are not able to share any information that might compromise the investigation," he added. "We appreciate your understanding as we continue to move through the investigative process."

But universities officials refused to be more specific about what led to the disruption.

The disruption began Sunday and affected the first and second days of fall semester at the state's largest university, along with its regional campus at UM Dearborn.

Michigan Medicine, the university's hospital system, was not affected, and UM Flint was largely unaffected.

It was a targeted attack on UM in spite of the university's significant investment in security, according to UM Regent Paul Brown, a venture capitalist who invests in early-stage technologies that include security technologies. Avi Rubin, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University, called UM's move "highly unusual" and suspected it was serious.

"I have not heard of a major university to be offline like this," Rubin, technical director of the JHU Information Security Institute, told The Detroit News on Tuesday. "It sounds like it's very serious."

This is the second cybersecurity attack that UM has grappled with this year.

In January, a cyber attack on a third-party vendor used by UM Health led to "intermittent problems" with many of the health system's public websites.

©2023 The Detroit News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.