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Columbia State Community College classes shut down for 2 Days

Columbia State Community College classes in Columbia, Tennessee, was reopened on Wednesday (i.e. on February 27, 2019) after college's network as well as connected devices shut down due to a malware attack.

President Janet Smith said that the virus spread after an email having malware attached has been opened by an employee on February 13, 2019. Smith further stated that the malware then spread to college's communications network. Although, Janet Smith added that no student data was compromised.

Though initially after the malicious attachment was opened, Smith told Herald that "our information technology folks thought it had been contained, and by Wednesday evening, we thought all was well. By Thursday night, it became active. We came in Friday, and computers became quirky".

As a result, five campuses of the school were forced to get shut down for 2 days. Campuses in Clifton, Franklin, Lewisburg, Columbia and Lawrencburg were closed on February 25, 2019, Monday, and on February 26, 2019, Tuesday, due to the malware.

Richard Locker, Tennessee Board of Regents Director of Communications, said that "because of the nature of the malware and the infection, it was a conservative move to close the campus for two days to ensure there was proper remediation".

None of the 27 applied technology colleges or 13 other community colleges in the state have been targeted, said Richard Locker. EdScoop has been told by a spokesperson that the malware that affect the 5 campuses was identified as banking Trojan called Emotet.

Amy Spears-Boyd, Communications Director of the Columbia State, said that the students were notified about the malware on Tuesday (i.e. on February 26, 2019) afternoon through email. This email has alerted students that the classes would resume from Wednesday (i.e. on February 27, 2019), however access to the campus WiFi as well as the campus devices will not be there for the students until the malware has been fully eradicated. Till that time, the students can access the college email from their own devices as well as personal WiFi. The email also stated that "our information technology department has been working tirelessly with expert consultants around the clock to protect sensitive data and to eradicate the virus".

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