UOG to further strengthen IT security after hack on its computer systems

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UOG is looking to have its most critical services up and running by the end of the semester, according to the university's chief marketing and communications officer Jonas Macapinlac.

The University of Guam is still recovering from an attack on its computer systems that occurred in October.

UOG is looking to have its most critical services up and running by the end of the semester, according to the university’s chief marketing and communications officer Jonas Macapinlac.

In mid-October, Macapinlac says UOG’s information technology office noticed unusual activity on its campus network services.

The activity was consistent with a type of malware that limits access to data.

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UOG announced the attack to the university community as its IT staff began shutting down services as part of its response.

“They took very, very swift action..our IT team..and they isolated and contained where that was at and separated it out from other systems. But what that meant was us shutting down various systems … various campus web services throughout. So what that means is it was contained, they were able to identify it, and take care of it. And now we’re in the process of recovery, making sure that all of our systems are not compromised and standing them up as we go along,” he said.

Macapinlac says an investigation found no personal or confidential information for students or employees was compromised and nothing of major consequence was lost.

The incident was reported to the FBI.

Macapinlac says UOG has been working with the FBI as well as the University of Hawaii’s information technology office to reassess and revamp its security protocols moving forward.

He says institutions of higher education are common targets for malware attacks and the lessons learned from this incident will help strengthen UOG’s information security in the future.

“It’s really a strengthening of our security protocols. Like I said..our IT department really acted swiftly. We have information security professionals on staff and they’re the ones who have been managing the process..and taking a look at where did this come in from..how do we handle these things in the future?…what type of infrastructure would protect us even more..so there are things like that that we’re looking at to strengthen the entire information security protocols that we have in place,” Macapinlac said.

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