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Knox College Faces Ransomware Attack Leaking SSNs of More than 63k Students and Faculty Members | Console and Associates, P.C. | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


On January 3, 2023, Knox College filed notice of a data breach with several state attorney general offices after learning that it had been the victim of a ransomware attack that leaked confidential consumer information. Based on the company’s official filing, the incident resulted in an unauthorized party gaining access to consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, and passport numbers. After confirming that consumer data was leaked, Knox College began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals who were impacted by the recent data security incident.

If you are a current or former student or faculty member of Knox College, your personal information—including your Social Security number—may now be in the hands of the cybercriminals who orchestrated the recent data breach. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, schools and universities, like private companies, have a legal duty to protect the sensitive information in their possession. And, when a school’s negligent handling of student or faculty information results in a data breach, the institution can be held financially liable to victims of the breach. However, regardless of whether Knox College was negligent, it is imperative that victims of the breach familiarize themselves with the steps to take after a data breach to reduce the risk of fraud.

What We Know So Far About the Knox College Breach

The available information regarding the Knox College breach comes from the company’s filing with the Office of the Montana Attorney General. According to this source, on November 24, 2022, Knox College administrators discovered unusual activity on the school’s computer network. In response, Knox College secured its network and then started working with a cybersecurity firm to investigate the incident in hopes of determining whether any student or faculty information was leaked.

The Knox College investigation confirmed that an unauthorized party gained access to the school’s computer system around November 24, 2022. Further investigation revealed that some of the compromised files contained sensitive information belonging to certain students and faculty members.

Upon discovering that sensitive consumer data was made available to an unauthorized party, Knox College began to review the affected files to determine what information was compromised and which consumers were impacted. While the breached information varies depending on the individual, it may include your name, Social Security number, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, and passport number.

On January 3, 2023, Knox College sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident. It is estimated that more than 63,000 people were affected by the Knox College data breach.

More Information About Knox College

Founded in 1837, Knox College is a private liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois. Knox College offers 42 majors, 57 minors, and pre-professional and cooperative programs. The school boasts that 95% of its faculty have earned a Ph.D. The school’s average student body is approximately 1,200. Knox College employs more than 350 people and generates approximately $82 million in annual revenue.

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