Fallout From The Ransomware Attack At Illinois Valley Community College Is Still Far From Over

Peter Medlin has an update on the Pysa (mespinoza) ransomware attack on Illinois Valley Community College that was first disclosed in April.

The college had not paid the ransom demand, and has continued to work to recover from the attack. Medlin notes:

In the months since the ransomware incident, IVCC has had to rebuild and reinforce its security systems. The college invested in backup strategies for its servers. And IVCC President Jerry Corcoran said the school is still working with consultants on forensic analysis.

But as Medlin also reports, at the time of IVCC’s announcement, they had stated they had “no evidence any data had been misused.” What did they do when they discovered or were told that some of their data was subsequently leaked on the dark web? Did they ever update their disclosure? It seems that even the local media there didn’t know that some of the college’s data has been dumped by the attackers as a threat that they will dump more if their “partner” doesn’t pay the demanded ransom.

On September 5, the Pysa  ransomware operators updated their leak site to dump some of IVCC’s data.

Pysa ransomware operators refer to their victims as “partners.” They don’t treat their partners very well, though.

The data dumped included administrative and some financial information related to the college, but it also contained a 2018 file that contained demographic personal information on students and potential students, including names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and in some of the files, date of birth.

Note that almost all of those data types are considered “directory information” under the IVCC’s definition of “directory information” under FERPA (the federal law protecting students’ education records), but date of birth is not listed as “directory information” for IVCC under their policy.

Somewhat curiously, the college does not seem to have requested removal of their files from the file-sharing site that Pysa uploaded it to. DataBreaches.net emailed the college early today to ask why they had not gotten the data removed, but has received no reply to the inquiry as yet. This post may be updated when a reply is received.

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