back to article University of the Highlands and Islands shuts down campuses as it deals with 'ongoing cyber incident'

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) in Scotland is fending off "an ongoing cyber incident" that has shut down its campuses. In a message to students and staff yesterday afternoon, the institution, which spans 13 locations across the northernmost part of the UK, warned that "most services" – including its …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UHI is a (I think) an grouping of smaller colleges and other learning establishments in very rural parts of Scotland; providing some higher education in areas where it's very hard to get any without relocating, and not everyone is able to study away from home.

    A shitty target to hit both morally and economically.

    I'm sure those involved don't really care all that much. Would your mothers be proud of you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      UHI

      > UHI is a (I think) an grouping of smaller colleges and other learning establishments

      > in very rural parts of Scotland;

      As an alumnus, having gained a UHI degree after I left corporate IT, may I add that that's true but doesn't tell the whole tale. UHI has the largest student body of all Scottish universities - over 40 000 students, and has campuses* from Shetland and Orkney to Perth and Argyll, in addition to the fabulous main purpose built campus in Inverness. It has an enviable reputation for research although it is the youngest Scottish Uni. Don't discount that research portfolio as being one potential target.

      It feels like an unenviable coming-of-age for UHI to be the target of this attack, and I wish their IT staff well.

      *. While as a collegiate institution there are numerous campuses spread across an area larger than Belgium (I don't know what that is in Waleses - you can do the ElReg conversion yourself) it also caters for individuals too distant from main campuses. I did my entire degree from the north west of Scotland, where the nearest campus was across the Minch in Stornoway on the island of Lewis, but I had fellow students who were joining VC lectures years before COVID made it popular, from Canada and elsewhere in the world.

    2. onemark03 Bronze badge

      Would your mothers be proud of you?

      Shitheads like this don't have mothers.

      1. JClouseau

        Re: Would your mothers be proud of you?

        Indeed. As the great Bill Watterson said (of school bullies), "they spawn on damp locker room floors."

  2. heyrick Silver badge

    "have increasingly begun turning to cyber insurance companies whose policies may buy off the criminals and clear the infection."

    Isn't that basically just encouraging them?

    1. anthonyhegedus

      It is. It's putting the cyber insurance companies in the same league as the criminals. Actually, it's putting them in the same chain of command. The insurance companies might well negotiate a lower fee with their ransomware friends, on the basis that they'll put more work their way.

      It's like your insurance company negotiating with burglars.

      1. Insert sadsack pun here

        "It's like your insurance company negotiating with burglars."

        ...which us exactly what happens with high end art thieves. They sit tight for a couple of years and then contact an intermediary who brokers a sale back to the rightful owner.

  3. DJV Silver badge

    "We do not believe personal data has been affected"

    But, as it's been encrypted and we haven't yet paid the ransom, we really haven't got a clue.

    Now, what did we do with that backup we took the other day, erm week, um month... year. Oh, yes, panic over, here it is, on this 1.4Mb floppy...

  4. Danny 2 Silver badge

    The He Brides

    It's good to learn that some of their sites are still open. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig isn't just the national Gaelic college, it's main cultural hub for the south of Skye. And though it wasn't internet connected last time I was there it is apparently the main internet hub too - in my day I had to drive to the Broadford laundromat and try to concentrate over washing machines. Same goes for Lews College in Stornoway. It's the whole community, not just students, who rely on these places. Best wishes to the techies there.

    1. wintergirl

      Re: The He Brides

      I think SMO provides microwave internet links to some of the outlying islands as well - Eigg and Rum are visible from the top of the accommodation tower there and they supply internet access to island residents that way.

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