Universities and Colleges Targeted In Rash of Ransomware Attacks
Today the FBI issued a rare “FLASH” report notifying “trusted partners” of a sharply accelerating wave of PYSA ransomware already targeting education institutions in 12 US states and the United Kingdom. PYSA, also known as Mespinoza, is a malware capable of exfiltrating data and encrypting users’ critical files and data stored on their systems. The unidentified cyber actors have specifically targeted higher education, K-12 schools, and seminaries. These actors use PYSA to exfiltrate data from victims prior to encrypting victim’s systems to use as leverage in eliciting ransom payments. Colleges that are not members of another FBI trusted partner group can get a copy of the report through their student cyber clubs that are wisely using this notification to practice locating IOCs both to help their schools and as preparation for the National Cyber Scholarship competition coming on April 5. The Cyber FastTrack College Coalition of 120 colleges is sharing the FBI FLASH report and more than 100 practice labs contained in the CyberStart learning labs game. Have your college cyber club president request the FBI FLASH report (and learning labs) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.