- by Mount Saint Mary College

Mount Saint Mary College detected and stopped a network security incident on December 20, 2022, in which an unauthorized third party accessed and disabled some of our systems. The Mount immediately disconnected all systems and engaged third-party forensic specialists and IT specialists to assist with securing the network environment and investigating the extent of the unauthorized activity. 

Upon learning of the incident, the college quickly notified law enforcement, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The college received a ransom demand from the group responsible and did not comply, following recommendations from the FBI.

In the days and weeks after the incident, Mount teams worked around the clock to bolster the college’s network security. These teams rebuilt the impacted systems and strengthened security protocols on campus, with the intent of minimizing any disruptions to normal operations. Winter interim classes resumed after a 48-hour delay, and the spring semester began on-time on January 23. All classes are continuing as scheduled. 

Since the event occurred, we have remained in contact with security specialists and law enforcement to monitor the dark web for release of related data. 

On February 9, 2023, the college was informed that the criminal group responsible published illegally obtained data on the dark web. The college is working with cybersecurity experts to assess the findings and take the appropriate next steps.

Mount Saint Mary College remains fully committed to the protection of information, systems security, and data privacy and has already sent letters to those whose personally identifiable information may have been accessed. The letters were sent  to anyone who has been a student or worked at the college in the last ten years and include an offer of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. 

The college has set up a call center to address questions related to the cybersecurity incident. The call center can be reached at 1-833-570-2891, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.