MSU still investigating ransomware attack, will not pay

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State University provided an update after hackers threatened last week to publish students’ information if they weren’t paid.

The deadline set by the hackers was Wednesday. MSU said it will not pay the hackers and is working with law enforcement to figure out what information may have been compromised.

“It is important to remember that these are criminal acts being carried out by individuals seeking nothing more than an opportunity to earn a quick buck at any person or entity’s expense,” MSU Police Chief Kelly Roudebush said. “Paying cyber-intrusion ransoms perpetuates these crimes and provides an opportunity for the group to live another day and prey upon another victim.”

MSU says it believes the attack happened on Memorial Day. The university’s information technology department was notified within hours and took action.

Photos were put on Twitter by an account called Ransom Leaks that allegedly show a sample leak from the hacker that includes what appears to be a student’s passport. 

The only network hit by the hack was the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the university said.

MSU’s IT department says people can take these actions to protect themselves online:

  • Be aware of possible phishing emails
  • Create effective passwords
  • Use two-factor password authorization when possible
  • Delete files and date when you are done using
  • Apply patches and updates to systems when they’re available

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