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University Recovers $550,000 in Ransom From Hack

July 7, 2022

A Dutch university has recovered $550,000 it paid in a ransom for a 2019 hack of its networks that prevented students, faculty and staff from accessing their email, research and data platforms, Bloomberg reported.

The ransom was paid in response to an attack at the University of Maastricht on Dec. 23, 2019.

The university paid 30 Bitcoins in ransom, which at the time was worth about $218,000, according to a spokesperson from the university. The payment was made after “extremely difficult deliberations” in which university officials weighed police advice and the moral objection to paying a ransom.

In April of this year, the Dutch prosecution service was able to trace and seize some of the ransom: cryptocurrencies had increased in value to $550,000, according to the university.

The university plans to use the funds for students in financial difficulty.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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