Ransomware attackers threaten to release community college data | #ransomware | #cybercrime

HONOLULU (KHON2) — UH says Hawaii Community College on the Big Island has been a target of a ransomware attack. Officials say the group claiming responsibility for the attack is threatening to release campus data and federal law enforcement has been informed.

UH released a statement saying the Hawaii Community College campus in Hilo was notified of a cybersecurity incident on Tuesday, June 13.

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UH Information Technology Services took the network offline and took steps to protect all UH networks. UH says it does not believe other UH campuses have been impacted. UH isn’t saying what type of student or employee information might be at risk.

But a cybersecurity expert says the main priority now is damage control.

“It has to focus on where the damage is, where is the biggest hit taken, where the system got hit, and isolate it within that particular system, cutting the cords, setting up the defense lines,” said Chris Duque.

In a letter to staff and students, UH says the community college networks have been taken offline. In-person classes are still being conducted and access to Zoom is available from any network outside the community college.

In its latest email sent Tuesday, June 20, UH says it’s still investigating the full extent of the incident. Students and staff are asked to closely monitor financial records and report anything suspicious to their financial institutions.

“It might have to stop any kind of communication, any kind of data transfer back-and-forth because we don’t know if the data is infected, so that’ll be a temporary loss of productivity,” said Duque.

UH says inbound and outbound traffic to the primary campus network will remain shut down until they are confident that it’s safe to use again. Staff are working to set up a new, temporary network and provide laptops to allow limited access and functionality for Hawaii Community College employees and students.

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We reached out to the FBI for comment and have not heard back.

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