B.C. college says info of students, employees at risk following cyber attack

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A community college in British Columbia says earlier this month a cyber attacker may have copied the personal information of some students and staff.

Okanagan College, which has 17,000 students and 1,100 staff across multiple campuses in southern B.C., said an “unauthorized entity gained access to certain Okanagan College technology systems” around January 9.

As a result, some information about students and staff “may be subject to risk,” the college said. Free credit monitoring services are being provided.

Meanwhile, the Vice Society ransomware gang has published an attack against an unnamed Canadian organization, which it claims has stolen over 850GB of data. A blurry photo with that notice appears to be one of the Okanagan College building on the Kelowna campus.

Campuses are in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, and Salmon Arm. There are also several smaller centers in Revelstoke and Oliver where the community can access educational services such as tutoring, English as a second language, and continuing education programs.

The college has notified the BC Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and is in the process of notifying students and staff.

Upon learning of the attack, the college immediately shut down, and disabled network access across all campuses, and hired external cyber-security experts to assist in its response and investigation.

Restoration of IT services is in progress, many systems have come back online. However, when a ITworldCanada When the reporter called the Kelowna campus on Thursday afternoon, a receptionist said all phones were not working.

Temporary solutions have been implemented for some IT services. Access to the online Moodle learning platform is available, as well as the ClassFinder app.

The college has extended its fee payment deadline for the winter semester till January 31, 2023.

However, it is currently unable to submit properly formatted official student transcripts as proof of completion of courses. For the time being, undergraduates and students who request a transcript will be provided with an unofficial transcript that reflects their academic record and a letter of authenticity from the college. An official transcript will be mailed once system is restored.

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