- Hackers have taken over the website for Monroe College, demanding millions in Bitcoin.
- Students have mixed feelings about the hack, as some enjoy the delays in their due dates for research papers.
Ransomware is not a new technological concept, but it is a big problem in the cryptocurrency industry in the last few years. Rather than directly taking over an exchange, these hackers go after unrelated companies, demanding to be paid out in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. Monroe College, an NYC school, recently had their network hacked in the same fashion.
The college is presently working with experts to regain access to the encrypted data, which has clearly made some progress. While the New York Times reported that the school’s website could not be accessed in their article yesterday, the main website for the college is presently up and running. Payroll has not been affected, nor have the classes, which are in session.
In any hacking situation, the affected entity usually is a bit concerned with regaining access to whatever was taken from them. While Monroe College officials are working with the “external experts,” The students seem to be doing fine, especially the ones with assignments due.
Jacklynn Hyde, for example, had a term paper to worry about yesterday, but this hack is benefiting her.
— Jacklynn Hyde (@HydeJacklynn) July 11, 2019
Another student reposted the link to the article by the New York Post about this hacking, suggesting she had a paper due as well.
— ιℓαℓ (@LaLi02) July 12, 2019
Another student took the hacking in stride as well, even joking that the hacker should make his grades all As.
PSA: I’m just asking the person holding my college site hostage to change all my B’s to A’s cause them bitches was out of pocket to give me any B’s to begin with. #MonroeCollege
— and I oop (@Chestel_la) July 12, 2019
For more prepared students, the hacking is a travesty, worried that their grades will be negatively impacted, reaching out to teachers for extensions. In a report with the Daily News, a student named Jeffrey Lopez stated,
“All the systems are down. It won’t let us log in or print our work.”
Now, the big question – is Monroe College going to pay? Overall, the way that these types of ransoms are handled are mixed. When the systems in the Baltimore government were hacked in June this year, the authorities cost the city a total of $18 million by not paying out the $80,000 ransom. However, in Florida, Riviera Beach City opted to pay out $606,000 in Bitcoin, giving their residents access to the critical services in the city.
The United States Conference of Mayors presently has a non-binding agreement in place, created after the dilemma took place, which says that ransomware demands should not be paid. At least for now, Monroe College has issued a statement on Facebook, since it appears to only have access to social media.
The statement explains that the “disruption” was the result of a “cyber-attack,” which they are working to rectify. The school provides an email address that the online students will need to send their course information to, which will allow the school to email their final project that needs to be turned in.
Posted by Monroe College on Friday, July 12, 2019
Since the statement online, the school has not posted any updates to Facebook or any other social media accounts.