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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

IT cybersecurity incident discussed during town hall meeting

K-State faculty and staff gathered to discuss the ongoing IT cybersecurity incident
Dylan Connell
K-State President Richard Linton speaks to an audience after his presidency was announced in 2021. Linton spoke at a town hall meeting Tuesday to discuss K-State’s plan to handle the recent cybersecurity incident. (Archive photo)

Kansas State President Richard Linton hosted a town hall meeting at 11 a.m. Feb. 20 at the Alumni Center, where faculty and staff discussed the recent and ongoing IT cybersecurity incident. 

The town hall meeting had a panel consisting of Linton, Interim Provost Mercer, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Marshall Stewart, members of the President’s Cabinet and Division of Information Technology leadership.

Linton said the cybersecurity incident is a campus-wide issue that influenced every department, directly or indirectly. 

“We were in a sense unlucky and lucky … we were certainly unlucky that it happened,” Linton said. “We, like other institutions of higher education, are targeted and vulnerable to such attacks.”

Ethan Erickson, vice president of administration and finance, said the university is working to uncover if any student or faculty research was lost in the cybersecurity incident. 

“I think it’s important to understand this is still a very active investigation going on,” Erickson said. “We’ve got our partners, our security firms that are helping us do that analysis to understand what potentially was encrypted or expelled, so we’re still going through that piece.”

Erickson said once they discover that information, they’ll notify those who were affected. 

“We’re limited and can’t really talk about what is and where we’re at in that particular instance,” Erickson said. “Rest assured once we know we’ll make the proper identifications that we need to.”

Linton said K-State will deal with the effects of the incident for a while.

“We’re not going to dig out of this hole by the end of March, this is probably going to be a hole that’s going to take a year to dig out of,” Linton said. “We’re going to need your patience, and we’re going to need your trust that we’re doing everything we possibly can in order to be successful.”

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