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Cyberattack shuts down Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Click to play video 'Cyberattack shuts down Saskatchewan Polytechnic' Cyberattack shuts down Saskatchewan Polytechnic
WATCH: Saskatchewan Polytechnic is closed until Nov. 5 following a cybersecurity attack. The school isn't alone as this kind of crime appears to be becoming more common – Nov 3, 2020

Online and in-person classes have been cancelled at Saskatchewan Polytechnic following a cybersecurity attack.

School officials said classes are cancelled until Nov. 5 while IT staff work with outside experts to restore systems, with the first priority restoring online learning.

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“The institute continues to assess the extent of the cybersecurity incident with external experts and law enforcement,” Sask. Polytech said in a statement.

“There is no reason to conclude at this point that any personal information has been compromised.”

Officials said they are taking the incident very seriously and are working with industry experts to minimize the impact on students and the institution.

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The post-secondary institution said on Monday it has begun the remediation process.

“We are making progress on safely restoring operating platforms and online services,” said Sask. Polytech president and CEO Larry Rosia in a statement on Monday.

“I want to thank our in-house IT security system and all employees who worked tirelessly over the weekend with outside experts and third-party suppliers to minimize the impact of the cybersecurity incident.

“Our first priority is to restore the online learning environment for students.”

The post-secondary institution said on Monday employees were instructed to install an adaptive, next-generation antivirus and endpoint detection and response software.

Since the incident occurred, Sask. Polytech said the following operating platforms and services have been restored:

  • Outlook email & calendar;
  • Microsoft Office Suite;
  • Zoom; and
  • Kaltura.

The institution said it will post all necessary instructions for students and faculty on campusupdate.ca as services become available.

Any scheduled student counselling appointments taking place between Nov. 2 and Nov. 4 have also been cancelled and school officials said students with appointments will be contacted directly to reschedule when operations resume.

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Sask. Polytech said it’s among other learning institutions that have experienced vulnerability amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as thousands of hours are spent in online classrooms and virtual environments.

It operates four campuses in the province: Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon.

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