After more than two weeks, Napa Valley College, a community college in Northern California’s wine country, continues to struggle with a ransomware attack.
The school’s website and many of its services remain offline after a ransomware attack was detected by college staff on June 10. The Napa Valley Register reported over the weekend that administrators are attempting to recover from the cyberattack and are notifying students of the interruption in digital services, including a lack of access to websites, employee email accounts and phone systems.
The cyberattack also disrupted registration for the fall semester and the process for students transferring out to four-year universities.
Administrators said they’re working with the U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and a cybersecurity firm to resolve the issue, which includes services that have been locked up by an unnamed ransomware variant and services that were taken offline as a precautionary measure.
Assistant Superintendent Jim Reeves said in a statement to the Register that Napa Valley College has historically underinvested in IT, though upgrades were underway when the attack was detected. The attack also seemed poorly timed for the state’s newest interim IT director, Daniel Vega.
“This wasn’t how I expected to spend my first day in my new position,” Vega told the Register.
Administrators said summer classes will continue in person and remotely via a platform that wasn’t affected by the attack.
The cybersecurity firm Sophos in April released survey results showing that 64% of higher education institutions globally were affected by ransomware last year.