Monday, May 27, 2024

Five Louisiana colleges shut down internet after security threat

by BIZ Magazine

By Greg LaRose, Louisiana Illuminator

Five Louisiana college campuses pulled the plug on their internet service later Friday after “an indicator of compromise” was detected, according to statements from three of the schools.

The University of New Orleans, LSU AgCenter, Southern University in Shreveport, Nunez Community College and River Parishes Community College proactively moved to shut down their campus internet to “operationalize security features. 

Identical messages regarding the security threat were posted on the UNO Twitter account, the Southern-Shreveport Facebook page and on the Nunez website. All five schools were identified in the message. 

“We are working closely with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as the Louisiana State Police, to address the potential threat,” the statement said.

There was no indication how long the schools would keep their internet networks down.

The LSU AgCenter’s website was down late Friday night, although it wasn’t immediately known whether it was the result of the cyberthreat. 

A cybersecurity breach at Southeastern Louisiana University in late February triggered a State Police investigation. In the ensuing weeks, students and faculty were not able to use the online learning platform Moodle, and access to online payments and wi-fi were restored just last week.

In all of the above instances, the universities have stopped short of labeling them cyberattacks. Nor have they blamed them on ransomware, where the perpetrator demands the victim compensate them in order to restore or regain access to their system.

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