Wednesday, 17/10/2018 | 12:03 UTC+0
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Algonquin caught up in wave of cyber attacks

In a breach over the summer, nearly 111,000 students, staff and alumni had information exposed to an illegal party in Algonquin servers.

Approximately 4,500 of these cases contained possibly sensitive information.

The college has stated that no information was taken but it was exposed.

“On May 16, Algonquin discovered unauthorized and illegal access by hackers on one server infected with malware. The college acted immediately to re-establish the security of the server,” said administration in a statement to all students and staff.

Algonquin had a lucky break in this case having caught the breach. Sudbury’s Cambrian College had 95 per cent its files encrypted and held ransom for $54,000.

As of mid-2018 Canada is the country with the third most cyber incidents and the ninth most exposed records in the world, with a total of 12,551,574 records exposed, which averages to 261,491 per breach, according to CBC data.

Based on that alone, the college was lucky.

“It’s 100 per cent guaranteed you have hackers in your network,” said Craig Delmage, chief information security officer at the college, at a conference for cybersecurity at the Perth campus in March according to an article by Inside Ottawa Valley “We probably have hackers at Algonquin College. But we can detect them. It cannot be entirely prevented. You need to work this into your business operations.”

After the incident, the college brought in forensic experts to assess the situation and found that no financial information — such Social Insurance Number or credit card — was exposed and there have been no reports of identity theft or other misuses.

The college is offering identity theft protection for the approximately 4,500 whose information was of higher sensitivity.

In their statement, the college has implemented a number of security measures recommended by an external security consultant with the hope of improving a harrowing standard of security.

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