Ransomware attack forces historic Illinois college to close

The private Illinois-based Lincoln College of Liberal Arts has reportedly been forced to close permanently due to a ransomware attack.

The move is set to take effect on May 13, 2022, the end of his spring semester according to sources reported by NBC News.

The higher education institution was founded more than 157 years ago and remained in operation throughout the 1918 Spanish flu, the Great Depression and World War II, according to an article published on its site. website.

How did it happen?

Lincoln College was the victim of a cyberattack in December 2021, which it said “thwarted admissions activities and impeded access to all institutional data, creating an unclear picture of college enrollment projections. ‘autumn 2022’.

The attack rendered all systems necessary for recruitment, retention, and fundraising efforts inoperable.

Fortunately, no personally identifying information was exposed according to the college.

Once systems were fully restored in March 2022, its projections would have shown large enrollment shortfalls, and Lincoln College then said it needed a “donation or transformational partnership” to keep it at the forefront. beyond the current semester.

And now?

Lincoln College encourages individuals to review the FAQ documents on the Lincoln College website for more information about the closing process.

Academic support and transition services will be available to students for the remainder of the semester.

Education is an industry that seems to constantly attract the attention of cybercriminals, with email being a commonly used endpoint to target users.

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Cybersecurity firm Proofpoint has identified Covid-19 as being used as a decoy in phishing emails aimed at US students as part of a scheme to steal their credentials.

Covid-19 themed campaigns that use variant ransomware strains of Omicron included thousands of messages targeting students at dozens of universities across North America.

But it’s not just education that’s at risk, ransomware is evolving in terms of the threat it poses to organizations more generally.

A study by US cybersecurity firm Venafi found that 83% of successful ransomware attacks now include alternative extortion methods to try to extort money from their victims.

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