COD website back up; School confirms outage was a malware attack

All online student services are back up on the College of the Desert website. This comes nearly a month after a widespread computer outage took down phone and online services.

On Friday, school officials confirmed that the school was a victim of a malware attack. As we’ve previously reported, COD was working with the FBI to investigate the circumstances behind the outage.

There were no further details released on the federal investigation at this time.

“The College is working with law enforcement and given the sensitive nature of the investigation, will not be issuing further communications about the case,” reads a news release from COD officials.

This is the second malware attack at the school in the past two years. In August 2020, the COD website fell victim to a malware attack, wiping out access to online services and email, similar to what happened this month.

This recent malware attack started on July 4. Over the past few weeks, students and faculty reported issues accessing their emails, phone lines, and school servers while the school worked on a phase-based restoration of services.

“College of the Desert appreciates the patience and cooperation of students, faculty, and staff,” Garcia said. “Now that student-facing systems are operational, staff can focus on the College’s mission of student success.”

In the last two weeks, key student-facing services were restored in phases based on an internal recovery plan.

● July 5 – Temporary pathways to course resources and were built.
● July 14 – Wi-Fi, internet services, and Colleague UI Portal were brought back online.
● July 18 – The main website and phone systems were re-established.
● July 21 – Faculty email was restored; Student Self-Service, WebAdvisor, and Payment Processing were live.

“The College’s Information Technology team worked to quickly restore all systems that impact students,” said Superintendent/President, Martha Garcia, Ed.D. “Round-the-clock dedication and an overall spirit of teamwork among faculty, students and…