Hackers infiltrate Algonquin College databases

Algonquin College
Algonquin College. (Photo by Michael Nugent / Flickr)

Algonquin College says it is advising students and alumni that hackers have infiltrated a server infected with malware.

The Ottawa-based college says the "unauthorized and illegal access" was discovered on May 16 and forensic experts brought in to investigate found that the infected server hosted access to databases which contained personal information.

The school, which also has campuses in Perth and Pembroke, says an investigation has not found any direct evidence that any data was accessed or taken, nor was any financial or health information exposed in the incident.

The college says it alerted 4,568 people via email that their information, including birth dates and home addresses, may have been exposed.

A further 106,931 people – including students, alumni, and current and former employees – had non-sensitive information that may have also been exposed on the server.

The college says it contacting the larger group by mail and has implemented additional security recommended by an external consultant.

"We are committed to communicating with and supporting those affected and addressing any concerns they might have," said Algonquin College president Cheryl Jensen in a statement posted on the school's website.

"We are also focused on reviewing and improving security measures to help us guard against similar incidents."