Cyber criminals used phishing and account takeover tactics to steal student admission data from three colleges. Student files are now being held at ransom for one Bitcoin, estimated at $3,800.
Three colleges across the U.S. have been hacked. And now, the hackers are seeking a big payday before they hand over information. Oberlin College in Ohio, Iowa-based Grinnell College, and New York’s Hamilton College were targeted recently by hackers that stole data on students applying for admission to their schools, according to The Wall Street Journal. The hackers were able to dupe college staff members into handing over passwords and took control over databases that housed student applicant information. Those who stole the data are now seeking one bitcoin—currently traded at approximately $3,800—from students to retrieve their “entire admission file,” including teacher recommendations, admissions department comments, etc. According to the Journal, each of the colleges used a platform called Slate from Technosolutions to manage their admissions processes. Hackers targeted the Slate software on the college networks and obtained the data.