An English college has temporarily closed all eight of its campuses and moved all teaching online after a "major" ransomware attack "disabled" its IT systems.
South and City College Birmingham (SCCB) has told its 13,000 students that all lectures will now be delivered via the web – and has urged them to stay away from the college's campuses for the rest of this week.
"The College has suffered a major ransomware attack on our IT system which has disabled many of our core IT systems," the institute said in a note to students posted on its website. "The College buildings will be closed to students for a week from Monday 15th March to allow our IT specialists to fix the problem."
Younger students - the 14 to 16-year olds getting vocational and academic qualifications at the college - will start to return on Monday, the college said.
There was no further information about the identity of the ransomware crew involved. We have asked SCCB for comment.
The FE Week news website for higher education professionals reported earlier this week that "servers and workstations connected to [the college's] domain" had been ransacked by criminals, with "a volume of data" being exfiltrated.
The authorities and the Information Commissioner's Office have been informed, according to FE Week.
Ransomware attacks are fairly commonplace in the COVID-19 era after much of the world shifted to remote working. It is relatively unusual for an organisation to state outright that it has been hit by ransomware, with most British orgs (including the University of the Highlands and Islands) preferring the co ..