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BREAKING: Potential ransomware attack causes campus-wide system outage, switch to remote learning

Nicole Bryk

Editor’s note: This is a developing story.

Baruch College reported  a campus-wide system outage on Sept. 25 that will cause all classes to occur remotely via Zoom on Sept. 26 and the campus to be closed to “non-essential” faculty and staff.

The announcement came after a now deleted 11:08 a.m. Instagram post by the Baruch One Stop Shop that said, “Baruch is currently experiencing a ransomware event. We are coordinating a response with CUNY now. Campus internet access is limited.”

Baruch’s Computing and Technology Center posted an update on X, formerly Twitter, at 11:46 a.m. that, “Baruch is currently disconnected from the internet. We are working on the issue.”

Baruch announced that the following systems are still available to use: Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, CUNYFirst, Blackboard and other CUNY central-provided services.

The internet connection on campus, VPN access, on-campus remote desktops, Microsoft OneDrive and DropBox are unavailable.

Baruch did not confirm whether or not a ransomware attack occurred in its communications.

An email was sent from CUNY Alert at 4:51 p.m. stating that members of Baruch’s faculty should work remotely. The email also stated that Baruch students will have classes online, and that professors should alert their students of the modality change and provide a Zoom link, if necessary.

José Castillo, a finance major and a sophomore at Baruch College, raised concerns about the strength of Baruch’s WiFi network in a reply to BCTC’s announcement that the internet was down.

“Might have to change the network vendor because Baruch has wifi issues quite frequently, disturbing the regular flow of lectures and/or class activities. Unacceptable to have such a weak connection in my opinion,” Castillo replied to BCTC on X.

Emmanuel Agú, a doctoral student in economics at the Graduate Center, replied to Castillo and attributed the issue to a ransomware attack.

“José, Baruch College was under ransomware attack. The program is hidden inside, at this point, in many files across all sharing platforms, and infecting some files locally on personal computers,” he tweeted.

Baruch’s resources and departments are also affected by the shutdown.

The Counseling Center posted an update on their Instagram stating, “Attention all students, due to unforeseen network issues, if you have made an appointment or contacted the counseling center on 9/25 and 9/26, please assume that we did not receive it. We hope to be up and running as soon as possible. Please standby for updates.”

At 3:59 p.m., Baruch’s Writing Center posted an Instagram story describing their inability to access their information.

“Due to network issues on campus, it’s not possible to log into the Writing Center’s schedule today! We hope the issue is fixed soon.”

The Starr Career Development center also sent an email to students announcing that sessions will be switched to remote.

Baruch posted on its official Instagram account that classes will be online until further notice, starting Sept. 26.

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Nicole Bryk
Nicole Bryk, News Editor
Nicole Bryk is the News Editor for The Ticker.
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