Classes Halted After Cégep De Lanaudière Cyberattack Spree

The attacker disabled Omnivox, the main platform for faculty and student communication on the Cégep de Lanaudière network.

by Ashish Khaitan May 10, 2024 in Cybersecurity News, Data Breach News, Firewall Daily Reading Time: 3 mins read 0

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A recent has paralyzed the education system, causing classes to grind to a halt and prompting exam cancellations, affecting around 7,000 students. The assailant, targeting the college network's servers, rendered Omnivox inaccessible – the primary digital platform for both faculty and student communication.

Students logging into Omnivox were met with a disconcerting sight: a flood of images, some of them highly inappropriate. The affected CEGEPs – Lanaudière, L'Assomption, Joliette, and Formation Continue – remain suspended as cybersecurity experts mitigate the .

Decoding the Cégep de Lanaudière Cyberattack 

In a Sunday communication to students and staff, college management emphasized the need for external cybersecurity expertise to investigate the attack's origins and, if feasible, patch the breach. “The investigation is ongoing. Data compromise is not a current concern,” said Marilyn Sansregret, spokesperson for Cégep régional de Lanaudière, reported CBC. 

However, hopes for a swift resolution were dashed when students were informed on Tuesday evening that the class hiatus would extend until at least Friday. Sansregret affirmed that the IT department is working tirelessly to reinforce the college's digital defenses, but it is too early to anticipate a return to normalcy.

The Cyber Express has sought a response from Cégep de Lanaudière regarding the cyber attack. However, at the time of writing this, no official statement or response has been shared, leaving the identity of the threat actor unknown.

Cyberattacks on Education Institutions and Universities

Meanwhile, Academica Group weighed in on the crisis, highlighting the profound impact of the cyberattack. Cégep de Lanaudière temporarily closed its campuses in Joliette, L'Assomption, Terrebonne, and Repentigny as it grappled with the aftermath of the intrusion. While the full extent of the Cégep de Lanaudière cyberattack is unknown, a music school on the Joliette campus reported disruptions to essential services like lighting, heating, ventilation, and fire alarms.

In a broader context, the surge in cyber assaults against educational institutions highlights the acute vulnerability of academic infrastructure to digital threats. Verizon's 2024 Data Breach Investigations Report reveals a staggering increase in attacks targeting the educational services sector.

With ransomware emerging as a preeminent external threat and internal vulnerabilities compounding the security measures in education institutions, the need for preemptive cybersecurity measures cannot be overstated.

This is an ongoing story and The Cyber Express will be closely monitoring the situation. We'll update this post once we have more information on the Cégep de Lanaudière cyberattack or any further information from the organization. 


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