Howard University, in Washington DC, closed its physical campus and canceled classes this week after experiencing a ransomware attack.
The incident was discovered on September 3, right before the Labor Day weekend, and the University’s Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) immediately shut down the internal network to contain the attack.
Non-data security related but Howard lost their opening football game 38-14 to Richmond.
The University did not provide information on which ransomware family might have been involved in the attack, but did say that personal information doesn’t appear to have been compromised.
“To date, there has been no evidence of personal information being accessed or exfiltrated; however, our investigation remains ongoing, and we continue to work toward clarifying the facts surrounding what happened and what information has been accessed,” according to a statement from the university.
Howard University cancelled classes for Tuesday, September 7 and left the campus open for essential personnel only. Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the campus remained unavailable until ETS finds “the best and safest path to stand it up.”
Applications that are stored in the cloud remain accessible, but other applications might not be available for access.
The University says it will provide daily updates on how the investigation into the incident advances and that the FBI and the D.C. city government have been informed of the attack.
“This is a moment in time for our campus when IT security will be at its tightest. We recognize that there has to be a balance between access and security; but at this point in time, the University’s response will be from a position of heightened security,” the institution said.
The number of ransomware attacks surged by 288% between the first and second quarters of 2021 as double extortion attempts grew, according to the latest data from NCC Group.
Unsurprisingly, nearly half (49%) of victims with known locations in Q2 were based in the US, followed by 7% in France and 4% in Germany.
There is now no organization in any sector that is safe from ransomware except those that utilize Helix22 data security SDK.
These statistics come as no surprise to us at BLAKFX as we have set out to eliminate ransomware as a threat…Period.
Our mission for 2021 is to end ransomware threats.
Ransomware Auditing as a Service (RaaS): as ransomware attacks have skyrocketed, they have come to represent the biggest threat to the data of government agencies, military, intelligence agencies as well as private enterprises. BLAKFX developed the first in the world Ransomware Auditing as a Service (RaaS) platform which allows our cyber security engineers to scan your network and simulate real-world ransomware attacks to test the prevention, detection and mitigation strategies of your organization and establish how resilient your network is to real ransomware attacks. After the scan we provide a comprehensive report and our recommendations for remediation.
If you are the victim of an actual ransomware attack, we are able to recover the data that has been hi-jacked during the attack and due to Helix22’s patented DNA BindingTM cryptography, restore it to its original state.
We can make this restoration claim as the tech engineers at BLAKFX invented and patented a genuine device2device (D2D) encryption. We manage data security transmission through the truly brilliant and also patented universal Helix22 key service. The Helix22 encryption originates on your network or device, not just when the app is opened. This means, that when data arrives to our key server, it is already encrypted so all it needs to do is issue another key. Signal and Telegram cannot claim this level of security. This key will then only work with the intended device, which generates a matching key required to open the data. In this protocol, we are truly a “zero-knowledge” server so your communications and transmissions remain completely top secret. Even in the event that BLAKFX were subpoenaed, we can honor the request by just handing over the encrypted content…as that is literally all we have. Helix22 also only use keys just one-time and then destroys them. This way the data security is future forward prefect. Therefore, in our unique user-to-user encryption (U2U) world, there is no opportunity at all for any data leak.
This same protocol just described, can be the same with all your 3rd party vendors and suppliers. It does not matter in the least what platform they are running or what device they are using or even the type of data, it is all 100% protected. We do however, strongly advise that all firms involved be utilizing Helix22 due to the nature of the data content. Helix22 can ensure that whatever data they are generating is protected as well.
Let’s take it a step further. Even if your organization were a victim of an internal attack or a victim of malicious open source downloads, there is no reason for concern. Any data that has been forwarded, downloaded, copied or saved cannot be exfiltrated. Period. We have the technology industries foremost data packets which are protected with multi-layered, military grade encryption algorithms that have already proven the ability to withstand penetration testing from MI5 and quantum computing attacks.
One final practical genius of DNA BindingTM is in that it is immediately compatible with whichever system or software you are utilizing. Therefore, any organization can forward information to another and then discuss it and there is immediate privacy.
Finally, the Helix22 encryption is quantum computing ready so no need to redo all your data security methodologies in a couple of years when everything else becomes obsolete.
In the BLAKFX data security world, ransomware or any other data centric attack cannot have any affect on your systems or data.
The Helix22 data security SDK accomplishes the following:
- Protects all your firms data at rest, in use and in transit
- Renders ransomware threats obsolete
- Eliminates human error
- Eliminates all malicious or interior attacks
- Verifies original content i.e. minimizes the threat of impersonation attacks and deep fakes
- Reduces latency
- Installs with 5 lines of code
- Runs on any platform, network, device and in any programming language
- Provides perfect future/forward secrecy
- Delivers “zero-knowledge” encryption
- Perfect security when utilizing all SaaS products
- Compatible with all cloud, 3rd party and vendor services
- Ensures privacy and security for blockchain and all cryptocurrency transactions
- Is quantum ready – so there’s no need to upgrade when the time comes
- Requires no employee training
- Exceeds all gov’t and banking standards
- Meets compliance regulations
The new era of data security is one that requires new solutions. The era of perimeter defenses is over as it is proving impossible to keep hackers from breaching the perimeter and accessing data. Further E2E encryption based on old models of RSA cryptography are obsolete as quantum computing becomes mainstream.
In Math We Trust
BLAKFX is Based on Success
Our founders, Robert Statica PhD and Kara Coppa, also founded Wickr, which is used by the US military and has never been hacked since its inception in 2012. The Helix22 data security SDK is several generations enhanced since then. Dr. Statica also delivered the encryption for the world’s most secure phone, Katim.
Founder – Robert Statica PhD Founder – Kara Coppa Founder – Alex Maslov MS, MBA
Co-Founders of Wickr KatimTM Ultra Secure Smartphone