The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

N.C. A&T Cybersecurity Update

Courtesy of Kendall Ivey

North Carolina A&T State University became a victim of a cybersecurity breach during the week of its spring break, March 7-11, and has been currently combating issues that it presented. 

Many systems were affected by the disruption, including wireless connection, Blackboard instruction, single sign-on websites, VPN, Jabber, Qualtrics, Banner Document Management and Chrome River, many of which are still currently down. 

Melanie McLellan, senior industrial system engineering student has not been able to complete her assignments since the outage. 

“It’s affecting a lot of my classes, especially since I do take a couple of coding classes, my classes have been canceled. They have been remote, I still haven’t been able to do my assignments,” McLellan said. 

The vague language used in emails left the campus in confusion and wanting more on the situation. Todd Simmons, the Vice-Chancellor of University Relations, clarified what the attack entailed and why the university kept the cyberattack under wraps. 

“We have to respect the integrity of the investigation that is being undertaken by federal and state authorities. We have to respect the state that IT is in as it seeks to restore all services, and lastly, we want to be careful not to signal any vulnerabilities to any potential bad actors that they might take advantage of. So, we are being very guarded in our language for all of those reasons,” Simmons said.

There has been no data breach detected and no evidence that any personal data has been compromised. The school advises students and faculty to keep a close eye on their personal information.

Currently, the IT department of N.C. A&T is working diligently to get systems back running and is taking steps to try and combat any future issues they might encounter. 

“They’re making progress, of course not as fast as all of us would like including IT services, but when I tell you that the staff there is literally working around the clock to resolve this,” Simmons said. “I really feel for the colleagues there who are just putting in a Herculean lift to get us fully back and functional.” 

Tiana Minor, sophomore marketing student is disheartened about the outage because she wanted to complete her assignments on time. 

“I’m really disheartened by it because it’s limiting me from doing my work in a timely manner.I know I wanted to get ahead of all of my work and I couldn’t do that over spring break.” 

The university relations team advises students to contact the respective buildings on campus for specific issues regarding issues like registration and admissions. This morning,there were issues with authentication on the AggiePride wireless network. According to the Information Technology Service, these issues may impact the Aggie_Guest network. ITS are advising that managers and supervisors  work remotely for the time being.

“[This] is a part of an overall dynamic where literally hundreds of thousands of hack attempts are made daily on institutions like ours. We avoid 99.9% of those hacks, but it only takes one to compromise your system,” Simmons said.

To stay up to date on information, you can follow the university on social media @ncatsuaggies.


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