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Alum sues Knox College over data breach from ransomware attack

Jimmy Thomas
Creative Commons

A Knox College graduate filed a class action lawsuit over a data breach at the college following a ransomware attack.

The lawsuit filed Friday, Jan. 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois accuses Knox of failing to follow up-to-date security practices.

The complaint states the breach at the private liberal arts college in Galesburg happened on Thanksgiving Day, but potential victims were not notified until early January, which was more than five weeks later.

The suit alleges Knox did not notify victims in the “most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay,” as required by Illinois law.

That left current and former Knox students and employees vulnerable to identity theft without any warnings to monitor their financial accounts or credit reports, according to the complaint.

The exact number of possible victims is unknown, but the lawsuit indicates it could be in the thousands.

The suit lists Jane Doe and all others similarly situated as plaintiffs.

Doe is identified only as someone who graduated from Knox College in 2001 and now lives in California.

She is asking for an unspecified amount in restitution, damages, and more for herself and others in the class action.

The suit requests a jury trial.

In a statement to TSPR, Bradley Nolden, Vice President for Administration and General Counsel at Knox College, said the college has not been served with a complaint, but does not comment on pending litigation.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.