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UVA shuts down servers after cyber attack

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The University of Virginia announced Friday, their computer network was the victim of a cyber attack.

Officials said the investigation indicated that no personal information, such as Social Security numbers, banking information, or personal health information was accessed by the attackers.

They also said there is no evidence that sensitive research material was accessed.

Officials said the attack appeared to originate from China.

“Federal authorities notified the University of a possible intrusion originating from China, and the University confirmed on June 11 that attackers illegally accessed portions of its systems. Upon becoming aware of the attack, the University engaged Mandiant, an internationally recognized cybersecurity firm, to immediately help the University investigate the nature of the attack and to take corrective action,” the school said in a press release Friday.

In response to this attack, the school is upgrading their computer system this weekend to patch the flaw that hackers used to access the network.

“The security of information and other data stored on University systems is a high priority, and we are working diligently to address this matter,” Executive Vice President and COO Patrick D. Hogan said. “The University is in the process of upgrading security systems to further strengthen the security of data and information stored on University resources and to help prevent future cyber attacks.”

The system security upgrade will disabled users access to many systems including email.

The upgrade began at 5 p.m. EST on Friday and is anticipated to be completed by the evening of Sunday, August 16.

When the upgrade is finished and systems come back online, all users will need to change their Eservices passwords.

UVA asks anyone with technical questions related to the system upgrade or members of the University community affected by the system upgrade to call the UVA Help Desk for IT at 4-HELP (434-924-4357) or toll-free 866-469-4866.

For general information about this incident, call toll-free 877-939-6228.

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