Okanagan College students worried that data leaked online following cyberattack

Click to play video: 'Okanagan College data leaked online following cyberattack'
Okanagan College data leaked online following cyberattack
WATCH: When Okanagan College was hit by a cyberattack, it was unclear whether or not students and staff's information would be compromised. As Jasmine King explains, the stolen data has now been released online after the school was threatened by an international ransomware group – Feb 1, 2023

Some students at Okanagan College (OC), like Markus Andrews, are concerned as to whether or not their personal information has been released online following a cyberattack at the institution.

In early January, OC was made aware of an incident where hackers gained unauthorized access to the school’s technology systems.

“They shouldn’t have let this happen in the first place but it’s already been done,” said OC student Markus Andrews.

“It’s been very unclear exactly what we’re supposed to do about this, they haven’t been giving proper updates. We pay a lot of money to be here and they should be protecting our information.”

Vice Society, the organization responsible for the cyberattack, came forward claiming they would return the information if a ransom was paid.

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The school however, decided it would not be paying the ransom money.

“We did not entertain conversations about paying a ransom,” said OC College Relations associate vice-president Jenn Goodwin in a statement.

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“Regardless of the amount, even if we had paid a ransom, there still would have been no way to be absolutely certain that it would have resulted in the destruction or even non-publication of any stolen or compromised data.”

The hacker group allegedly uploaded the data to the dark web on Jan. 30th.

Click to play video: 'Okanagan College dealing with fallout from cyber attack'
Okanagan College dealing with fallout from cyber attack

The confidential files include passwords, social security numbers and financial information, which has raised concerns for students.

“I was fairly worried about probably the SIN (social insurance number) numbers was the number one thing, (because) a lot can be done with SIN numbers,” said OC student Jenna Lettues.

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Okanagan College student Max Sceinberg said he’s concerned about international students.

“I think (international students) have to submit stuff with their passports so if that gets out it’s (going to) be really hard to deal with, so I feel bad for them.”

According to Andrews, students say the hack is also having a prolonged effect on their studies.

“A lot of us can’t even get onto (Moodle) and we’re expected to be doing that stuff from day one, on Moodle and now all these things are (going to) be jammed into another part of the year,” said Andrews.

Meanwhile, the college is not certain as to what data is out there, however they are recommending that people do not go and search for the files on their own.

Click to play video: 'B.C. school district suffers security breach that compromises student and staff information'
B.C. school district suffers security breach that compromises student and staff information

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