RPI students forced to adapt after cyberattack


TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Since last week, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been in a tech blackout after a recent cybersecurity attack on their system. Students and faculty members have been forced to adapt at the end of the semester.

As FBI and State Police cyber squads try to put a end to this, all finals have been canceled on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

“Of course this is a way such a weird year would end,” said Izak Safran, a senior at RPI.

Safran is ready to turn the page and say hello to his next chapter. He only had one final left.

“So on Friday, the entire schools network went down,” he explained.

Cybercriminals have found ways to steal sensitive information from colleges and universities. They threaten to share the information unless they are paid for it.

“I never thought something could cause this much damage. There are occasional scam emails that get sent out to people around campus but nothing of this scale,” said Safran. 

“It can happen to a college because all the systems are connected. Once you break around the security you are able to access the entire system,” said Sanjay Goel, Director for Cyber Security Programs at the University of Albany.

“Rensselaer is investigating a trespass into our University network. We have temporarily suspended access to the network, as we work with law enforcement and cyber security experts to determine the extent of the trespass.”

Reeve Hamilton, Director of Media Relations and Communications for RPI

On one of the busiest weeks of the semester, students and faculty members have been scrambling to find alternative ways to communicate without RPI’s internet, email and telephone services.

“Mostly it’s just been a lot of anxiety for a lot of students because we have finals and we have stuff to study for and now we can’t,” said Safran.

RPI says they are working with students to ease anxieties about final grades. The institute posted on their website that all grading policies will be modified to accommodate the canceled finals.

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