BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The University of Maryland, Baltimore says personal information from faculty and students was stolen and posted online last week.

“This is an actual war that we’re in,” Spencer Pollock, a Cyber Security Attorney with Niles, Barton & Wilmer, Law Firm, said.

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In a war with cyber-criminals.

“They’re stealing our data, they’re stealing our identities,” Pollock said.

Last week, the University of Maryland, Baltimore announced they were attacked by a ransomware group known as Clop in December.

“Clop does kind of a three-fold attack,” Pollock said.

First, they drain your data, holding it hostage and demanding money for it.

“You need to pay us X or you’re not getting your systems back and we’re dumping all this data,” Pollock said.

The second part:

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“The next thing they do is basically encrypt and lock up systems so you can’t use your computers,” Pollock said.

And lastly, they’ll list your data for sale on the dark web.

“Who wants to buy this data? And guess what’s in it, you know, we’ve got social security numbers, student records,” Pollock said.

Clop gained access to the University’s info through their file transfer system called Accellion, which services other schools, too.

The University of Colorado, Miami and Harvard Business School have also experienced a breach.

“Attack one that services 100 to get in,” Pollock said.

Pollock said it’ll keep happening if companies don’t start educating their employees.

“It only takes one employee to click the wrong link,” he said. “The more training we give employees, the more education, the more awareness we bring is the more vigilant that our employers are going to be.”

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The University of Maryland, Baltimore has reached out to the owners of the compromised files and is offering them security assistance, including free credit monitoring and identity restoration services.

Annie Rose Ramos