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July 13, 2019

Monroe College Hit With Ransomware and it's Bad!

Monroe College is a private for-profit college and graduate school based in New York City. The college was founded in 1933 and has campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, and Saint Lucia with an extension site in Manhattan. The college is named after James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States. Monroe College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The above information was furnished from Wikipedia as the College does not have a functioning website or apparently much else.

They have more than 250 full-time faculty members and adjunct faculty members, and graduate nearly 3,000 students each year.

The ransomware attack began on Wednesday at 6:45 AM. While the type of ransomware is not yet known, it is believed to be likely to be Ryuk, IEncrypt, or Sodinokibi, which hackers favor when attacking enterprise networks.

Reports indicate that the attackers are asking for 170 bitcoins or approximately $2 million dollars in order to decrypt the entire college's network. The college has not indicated at this time whether they will be paying the ransom or restoring from backups while gradually bringing their network back online.

“The good news is that the college was founded in 1933, so we know how to teach and educate without these tools,” Monroe College spokesperson Jackie Ruegger told the Daily News. “Right now we are finding workarounds for our students taking online classes so they have their assignments.”

The following message was posted to the College’s Facebook page:

We apologize for the disruption to your course. Unfortunately this was caused by a cyber attack and we are working diligently to restore everything. Your grade will not be penalized because of this disruption. However, you do need to email your personal email, the courses you are taking and your professor’s name or course numbers to the following email address: [email protected].

When we receive this information we will email you the final project for your classes that you will need to complete.

If you have any questions please call 914-740-6750 or 646-393-8592

Thank you for your understanding.

Yesterday we posted that the country’s mayors have decided they will no longer pay ransomware hackers. This after  170 counties, cities and state governments have been hit with ransomware since 2013.

The challenge of course is how to mitigate the risk of being hit.

Update July 16th, 2019: The hackers are asking for about $2M to release the files.

We have put together cybersecurity essentials – a simple list which will help most organizations become far more secure.

If you are located in the New York, Connecticut, New Jersey we are happy to come onsite, evaluate your cybersecurity risk and make recommendations. Even if you have a current IT solution, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion. The alternative could be a costly or catastrophic shutdown.

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