A COLLEGE has fallen victim to a cyber security attack which has comprised its online network and IT systems.
Colchester Institute, in Sheepen Road, is experiencing “operational disruption” after its internal and external networks were hacked.
As a result staff have been left unable to communicate using their usual email system and the college’s online application system has also been shut down.
Teaching, however, is continuing on campus and lessons have still been able to be delivered remotely despite the breach.
A spokesman for the Colchester Institute said: “Earlier this week Colchester Institute experienced a disruption across its network following a cyber security incident.
“This caused operational disruption to our internal and external network and IT systems.
“Systems such as Zoom, moodle and G Suite can be accessed from home or on mobile devices using personal data.
“The campuses will remain open this evening and tomorrow with most classes going ahead, except GCSE English and Maths for adults.”
As soon as bosses were made aware of the shock attack they engaged with experienced third-party IT specialists to mitigate the threat.
They are now working with the school’s internal computer team to restore systems as quickly as possible and investigate the incident.
“We take IT security extremely seriously, our investigation is ongoing, and it is not possible to provide further information,” the spokesman added.
“We will update you as a priority as soon we have more information.
“We recognised that our inability to community through email has been particularly disruptive and we are working to restore this as a priority.
“Emails which have been sent to the college this week will not have reached us yet.
“We thank staff, students, and others for their patience and understanding at this time.”
An anonymous source who contacted the Gazette says employees at the college fear their information may now fall into the wrong hands.
“The Colchester Institute have had the hack on their computer systems since last Friday and apparently they have been asked for a ransom,” she said.
“Some staff are aware of the hack, but we are really concerned the students’ and staff’s information has been compromised.”