I’ve been sitting on this one for a while because it wasn’t clear if any personal info was involved. CBS had reported that Los Angeles Valley College in Valley Glen was subject to a cyber attack over the winter break, but it was not known how large the breach was or its scope.
Now Breitbart is reporting that the school’s website and email system was taken down on New Year’s Day by ransomware, and the school paid $28,000 to free hostage data:
1,900 students and faculty were locked out of their computers with the message: “You have 7 days to send us the BitCoin after 7 days we will remove your private keys and it’s impossible to recover your files,” according to the campus newspaper.
It took the college 72 hours of computer systems freezing up throughout the Valley Glen campus before college administrators caved and made the payment the day after school had reopened. But even after the criminals delivered a decryption “key” to unlock LAVC servers, it will take weeks to unlock every campus computer and try to assess damages.
Read more on Breitbart.