By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington was still operating at a limited capacity on Wednesday after being hit by a cybersecurity attack earlier this week.
Unknown persons attacked the school’s administrative network, disabling its computer, phone and email system sometime early Tuesday morning. All three systems were still down as of Wednesday afternoon and there was no estimate as to when they might be restored.
“We are still investigating and digging through things,” Tami Afdahl, EWC director of college relations, told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “We’re honestly just trying to process what happened.”
All EWC employees at both of the college’s campuses in Torrington and Douglas have been affected by this cyberattack, with no one able to access their email or use their phones or computers.
Officials are continuing to investigate the incident and are working to restore service to the campus.
People can visit either the Torrington or Douglas campuses or leave a message at the college’s general voicemail at 307-532-8200 if they are trying to get in touch with the school. Afdahl said employees are still working, albeit without access to certain critical equipment.
She was unable to share any information about how the attacked happened.
“We’re still looking for concrete information, so it would be premature to share anything,” she said.
This is the second time a higher educational institution in Wyoming has been hit by a cyberattack this year. In February, the University of Wyoming was hosting a virtual Black History Month event when people began sending racist and pornographic messages to disrupt the event.
Apparently, the UW was one of many schools across the country to have Black History Month events disrupted by such attacks. Institutions including the University of Southern California, Washington’s Gonzaga University and Rutgers University in New Jersey were “Zoom bombed” with similar hateful, violent words and images.
Cybersecurity attacks have been popping up across the United States this year.
In one incident, hackers shut down an East Coast pipeline in May.
Earlier this month, the Greeley, Colorado, meat processing plant JBS was attacked and its servers in North America and Australia were targeted.