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Ransomware attack shuts down Lewis and Clark Community College campuses

The college announced all campuses will be closed on Wednesday due to all of its systems being offline

GODFREY, Ill. — Lewis and Clark Community College is closed due to a ransomware attack. The college shut down one day earlier than expected during Thanksgiving break. 

The school posted on Facebook that all campuses were closed on Wednesday due to all of its systems being offline. College leaders say the attack happened Tuesday night.

“Team members are working diligently to take next steps and will keep the campus updated,” the college said in the Facebook post.

It happened during a time Adjunct Professor Charles Harris says he likes to catch up on work.

"People like me who get caught up on grading. I'm sure there's students who are getting caught up on their assignments and stuff and a lot of work is done through Blackboard which makes it very critical to have that connection," said Harris.

He was doing routine, online check-ins with students Tuesday night, when he noticed his email and the college's website weren't working, which explained the two, system-wide text messages he received Wednesday morning.

"The first text message came out at 7:08 this morning saying that school was closed, but then at 8:45 there was an update saying that we were the subjects of a ransomware attack," said Harris.

Classes wrapped up for Thanksgiving Break on Tuesday. 

The ransomware attack happened later that night, prompting university leaders to shut down all campuses on Wednesday, even for administrative purposes.

Lewis and Clark said students should not attempt to use their login to access any campus systems during this time.

The college's spokesperson Laura Inlow released a statement Wednesday:

"Lewis and Clark Community College experienced a ransomware attack late on Tuesday, Nov. 23, which has led to a shutdown of all L&C campuses, Wednesday, Nov. 24. Our leadership and IT teams are working to investigate the extent of the issues. All systems have been taken offline in the meantime to prevent any further issues. We do not know when systems may be restored, but are working diligently to investigate and resolve. We will continue to keep the campus team, students and the community posted with updates via social media, our alert systems, and through our regional media."

For updates, visit Lewis and Clark Community College’s Facebook page.