‘Likely Cyberattack’ Interrupts Northern Essex Community College Network, Forcing Monday Closing

Northern Essex Community College Haverhill campus. (Courtesy photograph.)

Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill and Lawrence is closed Monday after an apparent cyberattack, reported Sunday afternoon, caused what was described as a “network interruption issue.”

The College issued a text message alert just before 3 p.m., Sunday, reporting “a likely cyberattack.” A link to more information brought at least some users to an error message, saying the website could not be found.

“As it appears that this was a cyberattack, the College is conducting a full systems audit to determine exactly what systems may have been affected and what impact, if any, there is on student and employee information,” a statement said.

According to a statement, officials said, the college “became aware of unauthorized access to its network” last Wednesday. They said they took steps to secure the network and alerted police and cybersecurity professionals to investigate. Officials said the College will let staff and students know if any personal information was breached.

“In the event that the investigation determines that personally identifiable information was compromised, appropriate notifications will be made, including contacting impacted individuals directly with guidance and next steps. The College continues to recommend persistent digital safety and vigilance, which includes regularly changing passwords,” the statement said.

Two years ago, Haverhill Public Schools was a victim of a ransomware attack that shut down remote learning, email, telephones and other systems and forced the cancellation of classes.

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