NC: Central Piedmont Community College impacted by ransomware attack
Central Piedmont Community College experienced a ransomware attack that they first disclosed on February 10. Here is their most recent update:
Central Piedmont Community College has experienced a ransomware attack, which was discovered Wednesday evening, Feb. 10. The college’s Information Technology Services (ITS) staff worked tirelessly through the night to take the college’s critical systems off-line, including phones and email, as a precautionary measure. The college website has remained in operation. Since Wednesday evening the college has communicated with students and employees via text, voicemail, social media, and the website.
Since early Thursday morning, Feb. 11, ITS staff have been working to assess the full extent of the intrusion, while determining and prioritizing which major systems could be brought back on line safely.
The college immediately began working with the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) Cyber Incident Response Team, the N.C Department of Public Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other federal and state agencies to assist with the investigation, provide help in determining the extent of the intrusion, develop a sound strategy for restoring the systems taken off-line and, where necessary, rebuild damaged or comprised systems. At this time, based on this broad-scale investigative effort, the college has no evidence any employee or student personal data was compromised or extracted.
A number of college systems remain off-line, including phones, email, and the Blackboard and Brightspace learning management systems. At this time, it’s not clear when these and other off-line systems will be restored. Work is ongoing by ITS staff and representatives from some of the organizations mentioned above. The process cannot be rushed; however, in some cases system and data backups will aid in the work.
Sadly, cyber intrusions, ransomware attacks, and other cyber incidents have become a significant threat to U.S. businesses, government, public services, schools, and individuals.
Until college email is restored, updates will be provided via text, voicemail, social media, and the college website. Please check this webpage for further updates.
The college recognizes this ransomware attack has impacted students’ classes, assignments and deadlines. Instructors will communicate specifics about managing class assignments once the needed systems are restored. The college asks for everyone’s patience as we work through this process.
Their notice gives no indication as to whether they are willing to negotiate any ransom or who the threat actors are.