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Class cancelled at Kellogg Community College following ransomware attack

Posted at 5:02 AM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 09:54:13-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Kellogg Community College was forced to cancel classes following a ransomware attack.

The school announced on May 1, it started experiencing technology issues that were impacting their systems starting Friday.

After further investigation, Kellogg Community College (KCC) learned those issues were related to a ransomware attack.

"Most of the time, it comes down to either paying the ransom unfortunately or trying to recover with some type of backup files and taking the loss," said Mark Stallings, a tca SynerTech Marketing Specialist.

KCC said it is still working to understand the full extent of the incident.

Eric Greene, the KCC Vice President for Strategy, Relations and Communications released a statement on Monday.

On Friday, April 29th, Kellogg Community College (KCC) began experiencing technology issues that have been impacting our systems. As part of our investigation, we learned that those issues were related to a ransomware attack.

We are still working to understand the full extent of this incident, but as soon as we became aware of it, we immediately assembled a multi-disciplinary team and engaged independent legal counsel and external forensic experts. KCC had backups in place, and we are working systematically with our IT experts to restore our operations.

As a precautionary measure, all campuses have been disconnected and our systems will remain offline until they are deemed secure by our IT experts. As a result, our students and staff might experience delays accessing our services, including campus emails, online classes and resources.

We are committed to working with our faculty to support our students, and sincerely apologize for the interruption this incident has caused.

A cybersecurity company weighed in on the impact of a ransomware attack.

"There is many, many, many different ways for ransomware to get on your computer. Probably by far the most common way is through a breach of an email address, somebody steals some login credentials. That can be done through phishing attacks and things of that nature," said Stallings.

Stallings explained that ransomware is software that encrypts the files so it can't be accessed by those who need it. Then the attackers request payment to the organization in order for them to get it back.

"Modern encryption techniques, I mean, it can take, for example, some of the encryption that we just use, you know, to help our clients, you know, stay safe out there, it would take a supercomputer something like 10,000 years to crack. The encryption software and encryption techniques that they would employ would be almost uncrackable," said Stallings.

As KCC investigates the ransomware attack, they initiated a forced password reset for all students, faculty, and staff.

The school said all campuses will be closed until further notice.