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VIDEO: Okanagan College is in damage control mode after ransomware attack

Okanagan College is in the middle of a computer system nightmare.

The institution's technology systems were hacked in a ransomware attack, putting the sensitive information of an untold number of students at risk.

It's believed over 850 gigabytes of private information has been leaked onto the dark web, raising worries about identity theft among students and faculty.

In a statement released by the college, OC said it never considered paying the ransom, instead opting to contact the authorities while trying to contain the breach.

"Even if we had paid a ransom," the statement reads, "there still would have been no way to be absolutely certain that it would have resulted in the destruction or even non-publication of any stolen or compromised data."

Okanagan College has offered students complimentary access to credit monitoring and identity theft prevention services.

In addition to the data theft, the intrusion has also impacted the college operations, and work continues to "restore normal operations for students and staff."

According to cyber protection experts, Malwarebytes, the hackers, who call themselves Vice Society, have compromised the information systems at 47 educational organizations.

They are considered the biggest cyber threat to education in the country and it's believed to be based in Russia.

It's not clear if former students are affected.

When contacted by KelownaNow, Vice President of Communications Jennifer Goodwin said, the investigation is still looking into it.

"Should the investigation determine that information belonging to individuals other than current students and employees may have been misused," she said via email, "the College will contact those individuals accordingly."

Vice Society is under investigation not only by Canadian authorities but the FBI as well.

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