10477300466?profile=RESIZE_400xRansomware has hit an Illinois college with devastating results.  It is shutting its doors permanently.  Lincoln College says it will close this week in the wake of a ransomware attack that took months to resolve.  While the impact of COVID-19 severely impacted activities such as recruitment and fundraising, the cyberattack seems to have been the tipping point for the Illinois college. 

The college has informed the Illinois Department of Higher Education and Higher Learning Commission that it will permanently close as of the 13th of May.  Media sources say Lincoln College is the first US college or university to shut down in part because of a ransomware attack.

Lincoln College says it had "record-breaking student enrollment" in fall 2019.  However, the pandemic caused a sizable fall in enrollment with some students opting to defer college or take a leave of absence.  The college, one of only a few rural schools to qualify as a predominantly black institution under the US Department of Education, said those affected were its financial standing.

Last December, Lincoln College was hit by a cyberattack, which "thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data, creating an unclear picture of fall 2022 enrollment.  All systems required for recruitment, retention and fundraising efforts were inoperable," the college said in a statement posted on its homepage.  "Fortunately, no personal identifying information was exposed.  Once fully restored in March 2022, the projections displayed significant enrollment shortfalls, requiring a transformational donation or partnership to sustain Lincoln College beyond the current semester."

The double whammy of the pandemic and a cyberattack have brought an end to a 157-year-old institution.  Lincoln College says it will help students who are not graduating this semester transfer to other colleges.

Hackers have often said they will never attack social service type organizations.  Well, they went by the wayside and now everyone is fair game.  Over the last few years, ransomware hackers have attacked other educational facilities, as well as hospitals, social services and basically any vulnerable company and institution.

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Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/lincoln-college-ransomware-attack-shut-down-covid-19-164917483.html

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