Doncaster college facing disruption after suffering serious cyber-attack

Doncaster College has seen its communications hit after being the victim of a cyber attack.

Monday, 7th September 2020, 12:56 pm

Both the college and the University Centre based in the same Doncaster waterfront building, are described as experiencing significant IT disruption.

Officials at the college said their investigations had discovered its computer systems were breached following a new type of cyber attack unknown to the college’s anti-virus software.

The college immediately informed the Information Commissioner’s Office, the ESFA and national cyber security agencies of the situation.

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A graduation procession, leaves the Hub at Doncaster College, making its way towards the Minster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Graduation MC 9

It says its IT team are working hard with external consultants and its anti-virus equipment provider to recover services as quickly and safely as possible.

Officials said they were aware of educational institutions having also been victim to similar cyber attacks over recent weeks.

A spokesperson for the college said in a statement today: “We have been affected by a cyber incident – we are working with all the relevant agencies to restore communications which may take some time but we are making good progress.

"We take the security of our system seriously and as a result we were able to respond very quickly. We apologise to students, staff, employers and partners for the inconvenience and will keep updating the website with the latest information.”

Plans to re-open the college this morning were reported to still be going ahead.

A number of further education colleges were hit last month by cyber attacks.

Luminate Education Group (LEG), which includes Leeds City College (LCC), said an attack on its computers had caused "operational disruption" to its IT infrastructure.

It also affected Keighley College, Harrogate College, Leeds Sixth Form College and University Centre Leeds.

Earlier in the month, Myerscough College, in in Billsborrow, Lancashire, was hit by what it described as "a significant malicious cyber attack"

Doncaster College is one of the largest providers of post 16 education in South Yorkshire, offering a wide range of vocational college courses and apprenticeships, with progression routes right up to university level.

The college says its Hub campus sits in the heart of the town centre, providing ‘excellent industry standard facilities and experienced teaching to ensure you gain the skills needed to take your next step’.