University of Calgary Pays $16,000 in Ransomware Attack

RELEASE THE HOSTAGES: The University of Calgary is out $16,000 this week following a ransomware attack. Such an incident involves a cyberattacker locking or encrypting a computer or computer network so users can’t access data. The attacker then demands a ransom for the keys to free the encrypted files.

The University of Calgary says it forked over the money to recover critical research data. Some say paying a ransom will only encourage more attacks, but Linda Dalgetty, a vice president at the university, tells the Globe and Mail the act was necessary in this case. “The last thing we want to do is lose someone’s life’s work."

Earlier this week researchers at a U.S. cybersecurity company infiltrated a ring of hackers based in Russia and showed how the criminal-hacking field is growing. “It’s easier than ever for someone without any technical knowledge to engage in cybercriminal activities,” one of the researchers tells The Atlantic

You can read about protecting schools from ransomware in Jonathan Levine's "Preparing Schools for Ransomware—the Next Big Threat to Education."

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