Ransomware attack shuts down Lewis & Clark Community College

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GODFREY, Ill. — Lewis and Clark Community College experienced a ransomware attack late Tuesday, leading to a shutdown of all its campuses in Godfrey, Illinois.

The college remained closed Wednesday as technology teams continued to investigate the extent of the issues. All systems were taken offline to prevent further problems.

“Team members are working diligently to take the next steps and will keep the campus updated,” a statement posted to the Lewis and Clark Facebook page reads.

Ning Zhang, an assistant professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at Washington University, weighed in on the ransomware attack and explained how they happen.

“Cyber-criminals infiltrate into your organization and use something as a cryptography to lock up your files or systems, therefore denying you the opportunity to access your systems. It’s almost like going to your house and changing the door lock on you,” Zhang said.

“We had a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which caused a significant gas shortage, and our gas prices went up too,” he continued. “So, ransomware is a big class of attack that is attacking a wide range of industries including education.”

Meanwhile, at Lewis and Clark, officials are asking students and faculty not to use the college email system or open any files. It’s unclear when systems will be restored, but the college said it’s working diligently to resolve the issues and will post updates on its social media pages.

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