The University of Utah Pays Ransomware Group for Students’ Sake

Here is another instance that makes ransomware attack look like a profitable venture.

A ransomware group successfully attacked the College of Social and Behavioral Science of the University of Utah on July 19.

The university management confirmed that many computers couldn’t be used by members of staff and when they noticed a malware had attacked their systems, they disconnected the rest of the servers to save other computers from the attack.

The school board had a meeting where they decided to work with their cyber insurance provider to remit $457,059 as ransom to the hackers so that they won’t expose any of the stolen documents.

The university staff confirmed that the insurance provider paid some part of the money while the rest was handled by the university. The ransom was paid in cryptocurrency but the type of crypto used is yet to be revealed.

Another university that has recently suffered a ransomware attack is Michigan State University (MSU). The school was attacked by the NetWalker ransomware gang in the early days of June. But unlike the University of Utah, MSU decided not to pay the ransom despite the threats given by NetWalker.

NetWalker is quite notorious when it comes to attacking universities in the U.S. By June 4 three universities had already been attacked by the group within a space of 7 days.

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