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Hartnell College, FBI investigating ransomware attack

Hartnell College Main Campus in Salinas (Contributed)

SALINAS VALLEY — Last Sunday, Oct. 2, the Information and Technology Resources (ITR) team at Hartnell College detected abnormal network activity that prompted a manual network shutdown. 

Currently, Hartnell College is working with third-party forensic incident response specialists and federal law enforcement to investigate this incident.

The college has confirmed that the nature of the reported activity is related to a sophisticated ransomware attack. As a result, parts of the network will continue to be unavailable in order to mitigate risk.

“Once ITR noticed the suspicious activity, the team immediately took the network offline out of an abundance of caution, and to prevent any further activity,” said Chelsy Pham, vice president of ITR, in a news release Oct. 7.

Due to the ongoing investigation, the institution is unable to release further information at this time.

“We are currently working with our third-party incident response partners to determine the nature and scope of the activity,” Pham said. “Should our investigation determine information on our network was compromised, we will provide notification as required.”