Historically Black Xavier University in New Orleans was subjected to a ransomware attack by the Vice Society. The society is a hacking group that has sought to extort money from educational institutions in England and the United States. Published reports have stated that more than 500 gigabytes of student data from the Los Angeles Unified School District was released when the district refused to pay a ransom. Some have speculated that the group operates from Russia.
Xavier University declined to pay the ransom and Vice Society in return said it has leaked data on students and staff obtained from Xavier’s systems to the dark web. The leaked information could include data on payroll, personal finances, Social Security numbers, disciplinary actions, and misconduct allegations. However, the university has not been able to determine what if any information was leaked.
In an email to the university over the winter break, Reynold Verret, president of Xavier University, stated that the university was “in the process of identifying and notifying anyone who may have been affected.”