MUNSTER TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY has confirmed that data stolen during a recent cyberattack has been published on the ‘dark web’.

In a statement issued this evening, MTU said that the incident is continuing to be investigated but that it had not yet ascertained the nature of the data released online.

“Our forensic experts are continuing to investigate this incident and will review the nature of the data compromised,” a spokesperson for MTU said.

However, the university says that it will begin contacting people who have potentially been impacted by the data breach.

“While it is not possible at this early stage to fully ascertain the exact nature of all data (including personal data) affected or the identity of all persons affected by this release, we have already commenced the process of notifying those potentially affected of this development,” the spokesperson said.

“Our forensic advisers will continue to monitor the internet at this time for evidence that this illegally removed data is being shared or published and we will work with search engines and social media networks and any other relevant digital publisher to the extent necessary and so far as is possible to enforce the injunction and have data removed.”

Earlier this week, the university confirmed that data had been encrypted and that the hackers had sought a ransom.

The attack is believed to have been carried out by a Russian hacker group known as BLACKCAT.

The cyberattack was first reported by MTU on Monday, with campuses in Cork remaining closed during the week. The university has since been working with the Gardaí, the National Cyber Security Centre and the Data Protection Commissioner.

It is the second incidence of a major ransomware attack on an Irish State entity, following the HSE cyberattack in May 2021.

MTU has since received a High Court injunction preventing people from publishing, making available to the public or sharing any of the impacted information.

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