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Richland Community College Struggling After Cyber Attack

A public community college in Illinois is conducting in-person classes but is still without network servers, phones, some department emails and its website after a cyber attack on Feb. 17.

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(TNS) — In a news release Thursday, Richland Community College revealed it's still suffering from the effects of some kind of cyber attack that has knocked out its phones and caused significant problems.

The college said it had experienced a "network security incident" on Feb. 17 that "caused a disruption to our systems," according to the statement.

Richland did not specify the nature of the attack and said its information technology security team had responded with immediate "comprehensive security measures to assess the interruption."

The school added: "As part of this investigation, we are working closely with external cybersecurity professionals to restore normal operations as quickly as possible."

In-person classes continue as usual and Richland students can access online courses through the college's "Canvas" system at However, the school said major roadblocks to normal operations remain.

"Network servers, phones, some department emails and the college website ( are currently inoperable until the servers can safely go back online," the statement said. "Student and faculty/staff emails are still available."

Students with questions about registration, classes, scholarships, transcripts and other issues can speak to staff in the Student Success Center in the north wing of the main building.

Richland said it was working "around the clock" to get everything back to normal but also said it had "no further information to share at this time."

The attack on the college follows on the heels of a major cyber attack on the Hospital Sisters Health System at the end of August. Most communications systems were hit and hospital and clinic operations impacted for the giant health group, which runs St. Mary's Hospital in Decatur, St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham, Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville and HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield.

HSHS phone service didn't come back until Sept. 5, and even then there were still some issues that had to be resolved.

©2024 the Herald & Review (Decatur, Ill.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.