National cyber crime investigation sparked after Northampton college hit by hackers

"Please be assured that this is not a situation any of us want to be in given the context of this year"

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 1:22 pm

A national cyber crime investigation has been sparked after a college in Northampton was hit by hackers, forcing the school to close due to safety concerns.

Kingsthorpe College officials say it was the victim of a cyber attack, which has 'significantly reduced' its capacity to run its information management systems, meaning it cannot reopen 'safely' at the moment 'due to the restriction of critical health and safety functions'.

The school has been closed for all of this week so far, with students forced to work from home.

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Kingsthorpe College. Photo: Google Maps

Headteacher Jennie Giovanelli, and Jane Curle, chair of governors, released a joint statement on the college's Facebook page last night (Tuesday, June 8).

They said: "Following further investigation, Kingsthorpe College has unfortunately been the victim of a cyber attack.

"Through the investigations undertaken to date, we do not have any reason to believe that the confidentiality of any personal data has been compromised."

The two officials said the college is working with the National Cyber Security Centre, Northamptonshire Police, Action Fraud, the Information Commissioners Office and its external specialist data protection officer, as well as specialist cyber crime IT professionals.

The officials added: "As we are sure you can appreciate, this is a situation which at present is requiring day-to-day management and decision making. We will keep you updated as soon as we have any further information.

"Please be assured that this is not a situation any of us want to be in given the context of this year, but we have to adhere to guidance and advice from external agencies.

"We will send further information tomorrow, including contact numbers and an update on opening."

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that together with the National Cyber Security Centre, we are working with the College to support them and investigate this cyber attack. Enquiries are ongoing."

Students working from home have been urged to access their work online. For more information, click here.