College to close after severe ransomware attack
University Hall at Lincoln College, in Lincoln, Ill. Image: Google Maps via NBC News
Lincoln College, among few rural historically Black colleges, survived two World Wars and the Great Depression. But a ransomware attack, two years of the Covid pandemic, and a bunch of other stuff have finally put an end to it.
Lincoln College was a victim of a cyberattack in December 2021 that thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data, creating an unclear picture of Fall 2022 enrollment projections. All systems required for recruitment, retention, and fundraising efforts were inoperable. 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.
NBC News reports that this is a big warning for the education business about the severity of ransomware attacks.
In severe cases, they can render entire computer networks inoperable, which can have devastating financial consequences for victims who can't afford to replace them. After the Baltimore public school district was hit with a ransomware attack, it cost nearly $10 million to remedy its systems. A Lincoln spokesperson declined to share details about its attack or make school officials available for interviews.
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