HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity hit by cyber attack, over 600 affected by data lockdown

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HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity

18th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity (HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity) has fallen prey to a malicious hacker attack, resulting in a significant amount of data being locked. The school’s information technology personnel discovered the breach on 13th May when they found that the institution’s computer servers had been infiltrated by hackers. Approximately 8 terabytes of data spanning the last four years, including personal information of graduating students from 2021 onwards, current students and their parents who had registered with the school, as well as personal data of faculty members and tenants, have been locked away. Additionally, administrative and academic documents have also been affected. The breach has impacted over 600 individuals, and the school has promptly taken measures to address the situation.

Upon discovering the intrusion, the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity immediately shut down its internal network to prevent any further spread of the breach. The school authorities have expressed their sincere apologies to the affected teachers, students, and tenants. The Privacy Commissioner’s Office has reported that preliminary investigations indicate that more than 600 individuals have been affected by this incident.

The school has reported the incident to the Education Bureau, law enforcement agencies, the Privacy Commissioner’s Office, and the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre. Both parents and students have been notified. While it has not been confirmed whether the data has been leaked, cautionary measures are being advised to individuals who may be affected, urging them to be vigilant and exercise caution when receiving communications from unknown sources. The HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity has initiated a comprehensive scanning and/or reinstallation process for its entire server and computer systems. This extensive undertaking is estimated to take at least one week to complete.

Until the school can fully eliminate any residual risks to its network, the internal LAN and wireless network will remain closed. However, temporary internet access solutions will be put in place to facilitate teaching activities. The reopening of the school’s network will only occur after thorough security scans of the internal servers, computers, and networks have been conducted, and any related vulnerabilities have been successfully addressed.

The school management deeply regrets the potential risks to personal information resulting from this cyber attack and extends its apologies to all affected tenants, groups, graduating students, parents, and fellow students. Immediate resources have been mobilized to address network security issues. Additionally, efforts will be made to investigate the system vulnerabilities that allowed this attack to occur, while updating information security procedures to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.

The Privacy Commissioner’s Office has confirmed that more than 600 individuals have been preliminarily identified as victims and will conduct a comprehensive review in accordance with established procedures. The Education Bureau has also urged the school to conduct a thorough investigation and enhance its network security measures.