Grand Valley State University Breach, May 24, 2022Date: May 2022

Grand Valley State University is a public university in Michigan. It was established in 1960 and is known for its undergraduate business, teaching, and engineering programs.

What Was the Breach?

The hack of Grand Valley State University shows that no institution is safe, regardless of its size, affiliation, public funding status, or other idiosyncrasies. The hack occurred in late May, yet it was not fully acknowledged until June.

How Did the Breach Occur?

A ransomware group called Vice Society added the Grand Valley State University breach to its site that lists its latest accomplishments in the context of digital strikes. However, Vice Society waited to release the data from Grand Valley State University. The hackers employed a digital countdown to make the wait until the data release or payment of the ransom much more dramatic and entertaining for masochistic web addicts looking for their next rush.  

The Hive ransomware countdown clock was programmed to automatically release the information stolen from Grand Valley State University on June 18. Fast forward to June 14, and public inquiries made to the university were not acknowledged, essentially serving as a silent admission that negotiations with Hive didn’t progress as expected.  

The university’s autoresponder was still capable of opening tickets after the attack, yet no response was provided. Subsequent requests and reminder notices were transmitted to the university’s IT team and others in the ensuing days without a response.

When Did This Breach Occur?

This breach occurred on May 24, 2022.

Who Does the Breach Impact?

The breach is a negative for the university and its students. The hackers' use of a digital countdown clock counting down the seconds to release the stolen data was salt in the wound created by the breach. A spokesperson for the university revealed the two sides engaged in negotiations, yet those discussions ultimately broke down.

How Many Files Does the Breach Affect?

The breach impacts thousands of Grand Valley State University students living in Michigan. In total, the university has nearly 20,000 undergraduate program enrollees and 3,000+ students at the graduate level.

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