Malware, Content

Malware Attack: Hackers Target RPI Before Final Exams

Cybercriminals launched a malware attack against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) to shut down a portion of the school's computer network, according to the Times Union. The attack comes as RPI students prepare for spring 2021 semester final exams.

All final exams, term papers and project reports due on May 10 and 11 were canceled, RPI announced on its Facebook page. RPI will modify its grading policies to reflect the cancelations and is making modifications for any tests that were interrupted due to the malware attack.

In addition, RPI has temporarily suspended access to its computer network, the school said. RPI officials also are working with law enforcement and cybersecurity experts to determine the extent of the attack.

RPI is a private research university located in Troy, New York, with two additional campuses in Connecticut. It has 7,900 students and more than 100,000 alumni.

Hackers Launch Ransomware Attacks Against Colorado, Miami Universities

The RPI malware attack comes after Clop ransomware attacks against the University of Colorado and University of Miami were discovered in early 2021. During these attacks, hackers used Clop to steal students' grades and Social Security numbers from Accellion File Transfer Appliance (FTA) servers.

Furthermore, cybercriminals attacked several universities in 2020, including:

Cybercriminals are increasingly launching cyberattacks against higher education institutions and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Meanwhile, MSSPs can provide schools with security services to help them guard against current and emerging cyber threats.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.