Avos Ransomware takes control of emergency systems in Bluefield University

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It is customary for the ransomware spreading hackers to take control of the systems and encrypt them until a ransom is paid. In double extortion cases, the hackers steal data and then encrypt the database. And if the victim fails to pay the ransom on time, they sell the siphoned data on the dark web for monetary gains.

But in addition to this practice, those spreading Avos ransomware made a bold move by hijack-ing a university’s emergency communication systems and sending a SMS alert to students, par-ents and staff that the IT infrastructure of the educational institute was now in the hands of hackers.

Located in Western Virginia, Bluefield University, a private Baptist educational institute was the unfortunate victim of this file encrypting malware attack on April 30th,2023. And the infil-tration was identified on May 1st of this year.

Bluefield IT staff are confident that the hack did not result in any sort of financial fraud or identity theft yet. But the University staff have taken all necessary measures to mitigate the risks associated with the Avos aka AvosLocker Ransomware attack.

Cybersecurity Insiders has learnt from its resources that BlueField maintained a school alert system named “RamAlert” that was used to issue emergency notifications through wireless communication systems. Cyber criminals belonging to Avos took control of the entire system and pushed an SMS to faculty and students that their university network was pwned and about 1.2TB information was stolen.

It is unclear whether the educational institution will pay the hackers the demanded sum as ran-som. However, unconfirmed sources said that they have an efficient business continuity plan in place and so may not have the need to bow down to the demands of the Avos ransomware spreading criminals.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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