PA: Butler County Community College data from November ransomware attack appears on dark web

When Vice Society threat actors added  Butler Community College in Kansas to their leak site, DataBreaches.net began digging into the data dump, only to discover that it was not the Kansas community college that had been attacked at all, but rather, it was Butler County Community College (“BC3”) in Butler, Pennsylvania that they had attacked.

And it wasn’t the first time BC3 had been the victim of a ransomware incident.

In February 2020, BC3 reported an incident that they claimed did not impact personnel or student information.

They will not be able to say the same now, although things might have been worse.

On November 28, 2021, BC3 first disclosed a ransomware attack that they ultimately determined had begun on November 19. The college provided a more detailed update on December 8. There is no further update as yet, but in light of the data dump, they will likely have to address the fact that the dump does appear to contain some personnel information as well as some personally identifiable student information.

DataBreaches.net is not going into great detail on the contents of the data dump at this time, but noted that once again, there was quite a lot of old files with personally identifiable information, including recommendation letters for former students and employees, some tax/payroll information on some employees, and forms concerning accommodations for named students with disabilities. There was even a letter of medical necessity for breast reduction surgery and a marriage certificate. Why the latter files would be on the college’s server is something for them to address at a later date, but preliminary skimming of the data dump did not spot any major databases with personnel or student information.

Because this was BC3’s second ransomware attack in about two years, DataBreaches.net reached out to Vice Society to ask them if they had been responsible for the first attack, too, and/or if the first attack left a door open to the second attack in any way. This post will be updated if and when any additional information becomes available or if further inspection of the data dump discloses other concerning data or files.

Updated 6:47 pm: A Vice Society spokesperson responded to this site’s inquiry. They were not involved in the first attack on the college (and they remind this site that Vice Society was first born in January 2021, the year after the first attack).

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