Okanagan College has been the victim of an international ransomware group, Vice Society, who claim they have obtained a large batch of confidential data through a cyberattack. The darkweb is an anonymous and unregulated part of the internet accessible only with special software. This platform has been used by cyber attackers to publish confidential data obtained from victims such as Okanagan College in this case. It has become a popular haven for those wishing to remain untraceable, offering users a sense of anonymity.
Vice Society had previously made claims that the included information contains logins, passwords, social security numbers, passport photos and credit card numbers. In response to this incident on Jan. 9th, Okanagan College president Dr. Neil Fassina provided two years of access to credit monitoring and identity theft prevention services and urged students to sign up while they investigate further what information was impacted.
Although Dr. Fassina has stated that no organization can be immune from such unlawful activities, an Okanagan college student was frustrated by the lack of communication about this incident as it’s severity seemed to have been downplayed despite media reports about Vice Society disproportionately targeting educational institutions since September 2020 according to a warning from the National Cybersecurity Awareness System in the U.S., which includes the FBI.