Some professors from institutes at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) are currently communicating via their personal websites and e-mail addresses because internet applications, e-mail and landline telephony are still unavailable after a hacker attack over the weekend.

"The entire IT infrastructure then had to be shut down and disconnected from the network," the university said.

Jonas Jansen

Business correspondent in Düsseldorf.

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Large parts of the IT infrastructure were encrypted, and the attackers also demanded a ransom.

The university management has reported it and informed the responsible security authorities.

Lectures will continue, but those who have a submission between November 28th and December 12th will have the deadline extended by two weeks.

"Overloaded, understaffed IT security teams inevitably make mistakes"

While there are numerous attacks on companies every day, universities have so far been hit comparatively rarely, but there has now been a second security gap within a short period of time: the systems at the TU Münster were down for two weeks in the summer, and there were successful attacks in previous years at the TU Berlin and at the University of Giessen.

The University Hospital in Essen has not been affected so far, but there was a partial failure of the IT systems in the Lippe Clinic at the beginning of last week, which still affects all three locations in Detmold, Lemgo and Bad Salzuflen.

The care of the patients is guaranteed, it said.

Experts expect that the threat situation will come to a head due to the lack of skilled workers.

"Overworked, understaffed IT security teams inevitably make mistakes," says Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of the IT security company Malwarebytes.

They are no longer able to adequately respond to the volume and sophistication of cyber threats.