Munroe College in Manhattan has been hit by a ransomware attack that has shut down the college’s computer systems. The hackers are demanding 170 bitcoin (BTC), which is roughly $1.9 million. The malware infection came to light on the morning of July 10, but the specifications of the infection are still largely unknown, as reported by Bleeping Computer, July 12, 2019.
College Network Shutdown
At 2:45 AM PST, Monroe College’s entire computer network was shut down by an unknown ransomware, with hackers demanding they pay 170 BTC to restore their data and network state. While the details of the infection aren’t known yet, it is likely to be Ryuk, IEncrypt, or Sodinokibi – all of which are notorious for targeting enterprises.
The college has not indicated as to whether they will be paying the ransom or simply resetting their hardware and restoring their data from backups to bring their network back online. A spokesperson for the college was quoted saying “the good news is that the college was founded in 1933, so we know to teach and educate without these tools”.
The outage has even brought down the college’s public website and not just internal servers. When visiting the website, a 504 error shows up, indicating a server error.
Monroe took to Facebook to address this, stating they have rolled up their sleeves and begun working on getting everything up and running again.
This attack adds on to the already of organizations and cities that have been targeted by ransomware, demanding payment in cryptocurrency in order to restore user data. Earlier this year, Baltimore fell victim to a large scale ransomware and the entire city’s government directories were rendered non-functional.