Flemish higher education institution still closed after cyber attack

Flemish higher education institution still closed after cyber attack



The Flemish university of applied sciences Vives is struggling with the aftermath of a cyber-attack. On Friday 8 April, hackers managed to penetrate the school’s systems. They wanted to get hold of student and staff data, but according to Vives, they were warned in time by the ‘alarm systems’.


According (in Dutch) to the Executive Board, student and staff data remained under lock and key because the university of applied sciences quickly shut down the systems itself. But restarting those systems takes time. Students and teachers, for example, have to reconfirm their identity in order to get into their email. Vives hopes that the problems will be solved by Wednesday 20 April and that they can ‘get back to work’. The police are trying to find out who is behind the cyber-attack. The suspicion is that the hackers wanted to demand a ransom for the data they would get their hands on.


This has happened before in the Netherlands. In 2021, the University of Arnhem and Nijmegen refused to pay a ransom to a hacker who captured student data. And in 2019, hostage software shut down Maastricht University. The university paid (in Dutch) almost two hundred thousand euros in ransom to resume teaching and research. (HOP, JvE)



Editor in chief Saskia Bonger

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