Monday, December 11, 2023
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Des Moines Area Community College Cyber Attack Causes Disruption


Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in central Iowa is warning teachers and staff against using computers at its six campuses following a security breach.

The school posted a warning on its website as a precaution for all its employees. It clarified, however, that there is no proof yet that the attack compromised student or employee information.

DMACC also announced that most of its personnel will temporarily work remotely to avoid using networks connected to the school. They are advised to work closely with their supervisors to monitor if there are other security breach issues.

“Fully online and virtual courses will begin 24 hours after the network is restored to allow faculty time to prepare. Online/Virtual courses will not meet until the network is restored. Deans and provosts will be available to answer questions,” the college announced.

DMACC Temporarily Closes

After a partial shutdown of the DMACC network last week due to the data security incident, the school board decided to close the entire campus. DMACC Executive Director of Information Solutions, Mark Clark, said several tasks must be completed before returning to normal operations.

“The security work the forensics team is doing takes time. If we don’t get it right, we could further jeopardize the network,” he explained.

The community college revealed that the FBI is working closely with school administrators to determine the source of the attack and if personal data has been “acquired or misused.”

Students Weigh in

On Wednesday, DMACC students were allowed back in the classroom for the first time since the security breach first occurred. However, they are prohibited from accessing the school’s network. Online classes have also been put on hold because of the issue.

Sophomore Cash Codner admitted that he had not received any information about the cybersecurity attack. “We don’t really know anything and according to my professor he doesn’t know anything either,” he told KCCI Des Moines.

Cade Barnett also commented that the issue is unsettling because the server where students’ personal information is stored has been compromised.

Meanwhile, for student Nathan Ford, the security breach is not surprising because similar incidents have been reported around the country recently. However, he finds it “weird that DMACC out of all things got targeted.”

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