Maastricht Univ. hit hard in ransomware attack; Unknown if hackers spied on research data

Law Faculty at Maastricht University
Undated photo of the Law Faculty at Maastricht UniversityLeonid_AndronovDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Maastricht University in the Netherlands said it was adversely affected by a "serious cyber attack." The university has been trying to recover from the attack since Tuesday, where offenders reportedly used ransomware, a method that encrypts files which are then only decrypted after a ransom is paid.

"Almost all Windows systems have been affected and it is particularly difficult to use e-mail services,"  the university said in a statement. "Extra security measures have been taken to protect (scientific) data. UM is investigating if the cyber attackers have had access to this data."

The university filed a police report on Thursday, according to newspaper AD. A spokesperson would not say if the ransom was paid.

"It is unclear how much time UM needs to find a solution, but it will definitely take a while for the systems to be fully operational again," the university said.