Ransomware Attack Hits Three U.S. Colleges, Demanding Payment from Students

Cyber Criminals Target U.S. Colleges, Then Demand $3,800 Payment from Each Impacted Student

An unknown ransomware variant recently hit three U.S. colleges in the Midwest and East Coast. The three targeted colleges include Oberlin College of Ohio, Grinnell College of Iowa, and New York’s Hamilton College.

An investigation confirmed cyber criminals were able to access each school’s database after phishing passwords from staff. It is believed the attacks could have been avoided if the educational institutions had been deploying two-factor authentication.

The attack successfully encrypted student admission data. After encryption, the cyber criminals demanded 1 bitcoin (approx. $3,800) from students to “retrieve their entire admission file.”

It remains unclear how many students paid the ransom demands, if any.

Other Attacks

For a list of ransomware attacks that have already taken place in 2019, you may click here. We have also created an interactive map of the ransomware attacks that have taken place in the U.S. Check it out here.

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