Cybercriminals used ransomware to disable the technology systems at New York’s Monroe College, according to Inside Higher Ed. They locked Monroe students, faculty and staff members out of the college’s Learning Management System, Blackboard and email system, and are now demanding about $2 million in Bitcoins.
Monroe officials are working with the FBI and local law enforcement officials to investigate the ransomware attack and resolve the incident. There is no comment regarding the payment. Monroe officials have advised students to continue to attend classes and submit homework on paper and contact the college via their personal email accounts.
These are perpetuated by a small group of sophisticated criminals and are targeting the organizations by size and ability to pay. They are evaluating the Pain Threshold.
Growing list of colleges are experiencing similar cyberattacks.
“We’ve carried out a drill asking how we would respond to this. That kind of planning makes me feel much better about our preparedness and raises awareness,”- CISO at University of California.
Ensuring institutions have isolated backups to be restored if they become compromised is critical. Systems that monitor unusual computer activity and filter out suspicious email is useful, but the most important defense against a ransomware attack is education. You need to train and report any suspicious activity. Simulated Phishing programs are necessary and the college boards have started accepting such measures.