Malware Infection Causes 2 Day Shutdown of Columbia State College


From Campus Safety Magazine:

After a computer virus infiltrated Columbia State Community College (Tenn.), the school’s five campuses were forced to shut down for two days.

An employee opened an email with malware attached and it spread to the college’s communication network, said President Janet Smith.

Campuses in Columbia, Franklin, Lewisburg, Lawrencburg and Clifton closed on Monday and Tuesday and reopened Wednesday, reports the Columbia Daily Herald.

“Because of the nature of the malware and the infection, it was a conservative move to close the campus for two days to ensure there was proper remediation,” said Tennessee Board of regents Director of Communications, Richard Locker. “The incident underscores the growing threat of such attacks on information systems of all kinds.”

None of the other 13 community colleges or 27 colleges of applied technology in the state were targeted, and none of them have had to close from cyber attacks before

“This is the most serious thing that I am aware of,” Locker added.

Officials are not sure what kind of virus the system acquired, but they have assured that no student data was taken.

Students did not have access to campus WiFi when they returned Wednesday but were allowed to access college email through their own devices and personal WiFi.

“Some students will be taking midterms, so we will have to make accommodations about that,” Smith said. “For some, it may be more challenging than others.”

Read the full article here.


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