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Thread: Cyber Attack At My Local CC

  1. #1
    Hunter91 is offline Knight / Dame
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    Default Cyber Attack At My Local CC

    I was trying to register for Winter courses at my local community college last week, and the website wasn't working. I found that to be extremely odd to have the website be down for the week leading up to a new semester, but I thought 'oh well, that's community college for ya' lol!

    Fast forward to today...

    I received an email about twenty minutes ago saying that the school's servers were infected with a ransomware virus, and the school decided to pay up in exchange for a 'key' in order to access their hundreds of thousands of files being held random.

    Here is the email,

    "This is a follow up message on the malicious cyber activity that the LACCD is investigating that has disrupted many computer, online, email, and voice mail systems at LAVC. In consultation with district and college leadership, outside cybersecurity experts and law enforcement, a $28,000 payment was made by the District.

    It was the assessment of our outside cybersecurity experts that making a payment would offer an extremely high probability of restoring access to the affected systems, while failure to pay would virtually guarantee that data would be lost.

    After payment was made, a 'key' was delivered to open access to our computer systems. The process to 'unlock' hundreds of thousands files will be a lengthy one, but so far, the key has worked in every attempt that has been made.

    Our information technology department has a plan in place to bring back servers in a logical manner that prioritize key college services that impact communications with students, faculty and staff. There currently isnít a set time table for when all communication services are restored."

    I'm guessing they used bitcoin? I think it's untraceable...

    Cyber-crime is scary stuff...but stories like this interest the heck out of me...

    Side-note: My father mentioned this happened to a Presbyterian Medical Center near me in 2016 also...Guess it is somewhat common.
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  2. #2
    bluebooger is offline Count / Countess
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    I don't understand how this works

    don't people make backups ?

    if some group hijacked the servers can't you just shut them down, reinstall the operating system and then restore from backups ?

  3. #3
    ajs1976 is offline Viscount / Viscountess
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    they probably tried that and realized they had to many issues and / or the whole process would take a lot longer then they planned.
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  4. #4
    yb1
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    My professor at school said that it is better to pay than the time it would take to put everything back on.


    A year ago it happened to some hospitals.
    Three US hospitals hit by ransomware - BBC News

  5. #5
    dfrecore is offline Emperor / Empress
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    I've heard this is the new way to cyberattack. Hospitals, schools...they can afford to pay a pretty good ransom, and the files are so important that they just do it. Plus, some of the companies are so behind the times that they don't have good backups and redundancies, nor do they have top-notch IT guys and plans in place - they're easy pickings.

    They do it to random people too - they have found that people will pay good money to get back all of their pictures stored on their computers with no backup!
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  6. #6
    mednat is offline Viscount / Viscountess
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    Good backup/restoration plan resolves this 100% of the time. There's no valid reason to pay if everything is in order on your DR and backup plan.
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    davewill is offline Duke / Duchess
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    It's not unusual for people to discover that their backups aren't as usable as they thought when the time comes to restore. Also there's always the possibility that the infection happened months before the ransom event and restoring back to that point would lose too much data.
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    "I received an email about twenty minutes ago saying that the school's servers were infected with a ransomware virus, "

    And I was like "what?" He's a member here! And we are connected on LinkedIn...... oh wait... that's Ransomsoul. He's not a virus. He's a dad. Whew!

    Ok, in all seriousness, $28,000? So maybe I watch too much tv, but is someone really taking such a huge risk of prison time for $28,000? If I were a cyberhacker (control your laughter) I'd ask for WAY more than that. Add a zero.
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    To be fair, $28k USD is likely a decade's worth of salary for where these types of attacks often originate from
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    bluebooger is offline Count / Countess
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