NewsPhoenix Metro News


MCCCD release findings from cyber security breach investigation

Maricopa Community Colleges
Posted at 10:48 AM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 13:48:26-04

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Community College District is releasing the findings from an investigation into a cyber security breach that happened earlier this year.

In March, the college district announced that suspicious activity was found on their network which resulted in a system shutdown.

RELATED: Maricopa Community Colleges notifies FBI about cyberattack

MCCCD said a third-party monitoring vendor detected suspicious activity on a system network that suggested it could be a precursor to a cyberattack.

To protect the systems and data, the district implemented its incident response protocols and took all systems offline.

MCCCD hired a team of experts to investigate and help guide through the containment restoration process.

A forensic investigation determined MCCCD likely identified and prevented a potential ransomware attack before the attackers could encrypt systems.

Additional key findings from the investigation found an attempt was made to download a file that includes names, dates of birth, email address and hashed passwords for Maricopa user accounts.

The investigation found no evidence this file ever left our system, however, out of an abundance of caution, the district did not permit MCCCD users to access applications unless they changed their password.

The student information and human resources management systems are not hosted within the MCCCD network and were completely unaffected by this incident, according to officials.

Investigators said they are confident that no student or employee information from these systems, such as social security numbers, educational information or financial data was compromised as a result of this incident.

No evidence of insider wrongdoing was found.