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University of Calgary (Canada) paid $20,000 in ransomware attack


For those who missed our article on Ransomware, you might now want to read it.


The University of Calgary paid a demanded $20,000 after a “ransomware” cyberattack on its systems.

The university announced the ransom Tuesday, a week after the initial attack.

“As part of efforts to maintain all options to address these systems issues, the university has paid a ransom totalling about $20,000 Cdn. that was demanded as part of this ransomware attack,” Linda Dalgetty, vice-president of finances and services, said in a release.

“A ransomware attack involves an unknown cyberattacker locking or encrypting computers or computer networks until a ransom is paid, and when it is, keys, or methods of decryption, are provided,” the release said.

For a time, staff and students were being warned not to use any school-issued computers and couldn’t access email.

The university credited its IT department with being able to isolate the effects of the attack and “make significant progress towards restoration of the affected portions of our systems.”

As of Monday, June 6, email was available for faculty and staff.

“There is no indication that any personal or other university data was released to the public,” Dalgetty said.

The university has been consulting experts in the field, as well as bringing in the Calgary Police Service to investigate because a malware attack is considered a criminal act.

The university said that the investigation is ongoing, but said no further details would be provided about the attack or actions taken to counteract it.

Ransomware attacks are becoming an increasing problem in what the university called “a disturbing global trend of highly sophisticated and malicious malware attacks against organizations including NASA, law enforcement agencies and large health-care institutions.”

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).

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