MTU to track any potential data leaks online after securing injunction over cyber attack

Ransomware hack left university facing threat of data release

Munster Technological University (MTU) will engage specialist services to track any data that may leak online in coming days after it was granted an interim injunction from the High Court.

The injunction is intended to prevent the sale, publication, possession, or other use of any data that may have been illegally taken from their systems.

MTU is seeking to enforce that injunction as far as possible across the internet. To that end, it has engaged specialist services to closely monitor the internet for any possible leak of data.

The cyberattack on MTU’s IT system, which was detected in recent days, is believed to have been carried out by individuals in a ransomware group known as ALPHV aka BlackCat or Noberus, the court heard.


The university’s Cork campus shut its doors this week as it worked towards recovering from the attack.

MTU claims that those suspected of carrying out the attack are understood to be made up of former members of the REvil ransomware group, which was proved to be based in Russia. Last year the group attacked a supplier of Apple.

The court heard that the college received a ransom note demanding what Mr Justice Garrett Simons was told at a late sitting of the High Court on Friday was a significant amount of money or else it would publish confidential information the attackers claim to have obtained from MTU’s IT system about the university’s staff and students.

If the money is not paid the attackers have threatened to sell or publish confidential information and data about the college’s staff and students allegedly obtained from MTU’s IT system.

The exact figure demanded by the attackers was not disclosed in open court. MTU does not intend to pay, it has said.

As a result, MTU represented by Imogen McGrath SC, with Stephen Walsh BL instructed by Arthur Cox solicitors, obtained an emergency temporary injunction preventing the currently unknown persons behind the attack, and anyone else who has knowledge of the order, from publishing, making available to the public, or sharing any of the university’s confidential material.

The order also requires the defendants or any other person in possession of the confidential data to hand over any such material they may have to MTU.

Seeking the orders Ms McGrath said that the college’s operations and services to its 18,000 students have been significantly disrupted as a result of the attack.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times