Fall River — Bristol Community College is the apparent victim of a ransomware attack that affected the school’s internet, email and computer networks for about a week.
According to a message on the school’s website, the “cybersecurity incident” affected “onsite internet and network functions, including email, teams, shared document sites, and information systems for students and employees.” rice field. A message on the school’s site states that students and employees should assume they don’t use the internet or her Wi-Fi at all college locations and have no access to the school’s network. .
Bristol has campuses in Fall River, Taunton, New Bedford and Attleboro.
According to the school’s website, this was a ransomware attack that occurred “on or around December 23rd.” In ransomware attacks, hackers gain access to computer systems, encrypt or lock files, and demand a fee to restore the files, usually in cryptocurrency. The case has not yet been resolved, according to the school’s website.
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“The university is conducting a full system audit to determine exactly which systems may have been affected and what the impact is on student and employee information,” the school said on its website. Read the site statement. ”
A notice posted on the school’s site also suggests that students and employees change passwords on personal and work accounts and monitor credit reports for suspicious activity.
Kevin Spillett, Bristol’s Associate Director of Media Relations, said the school will provide regular updates on the incident to both students and employees via its website and mobile app.
The university’s winter session, an accelerated set of courses that run through the fall and spring semesters, begins on December 27th and ends on January 13th. The school has included information for students and employees on how to access courses during internet outages.
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Other local cybersecurity attacks
This isn’t the first time a local organization’s network systems have proven vulnerable to attacks from hackers, which can take weeks to resolve.
In 2013, Swansea police paid $750 to scammers who encrypted several files in their computer systems and demanded a ransom.
In 2019, the City of New Bedford suffered a massive ransomware attack, with criminals demanding $5.3 million in Bitcoin. The city gave her $400,000 out of insurance money. When this was denied, the city worked with tech support to successfully recover the data.
Somerset Berkley Regional High School was hit by a ransomware attack in 2020, a Newport school was hit by malware in 2019, and the Brockton Police Department was hit by a cyberattack in the summer of 2021, taking network systems offline.
5:30 PM UPDATE: Clarified the nature of the incident and included a response from the school’s media department.
Dan Medeiros can be reached at [email protected]. Buy a digital or print subscription to The Herald He News today and support local journalism.