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North Orange County Community College District Suffered Ransomware Attack

Advanced cybersecurity training for employees is being implemented throughout the District.

 

According to an official filing by the District, on Monday, January 10, 2022, the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD or the District) noticed malicious activity on both of the District’s college servers including Cypress College and Fullerton College. 

In response to the attack, the District launched an investigation with the assistance of outside computer forensic specialists to learn more about the attack and determine if any employee or student data was breached. The notifications in which the attack has been reported on their component campus sites revealed that this was a ransomware incident. 

On March 25, 2022, following the attack, the NOCCCD reportedly notified more than 19,000 people about a data security incident. It has begun sending out data breach notification letters to all employees and students whose information was breached due to the data security incident. The District furthermore said that it will send additional security letters if it notices other parties were impacted by the attack. 

The investigation has confirmed that files containing sensitive credential data of employees and students may have been compromised or removed from the District’s network. A copy of the notice was also posted on Fullerton College for International Students. 

While disclosing what types of data might have been compromised, the notice read, “name, and passport number or other unique identification number issued on a government document (such as Social Security number or driver’s license number); financial account information; and/or medical information.” 

The district said that they are also coordinating with the colleges to review and enhance existing policies related to data protection. Besides, they have successfully implemented multi-factor authentication as well as an advanced threat protection and monitoring tool to better security and safeguard data. Additionally, new and advanced cybersecurity training for employees is being implemented throughout the District.
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