Suspicion of Malware Suspends Federal System Access
Two institutions have recent had their access to all federal databases and websites suspended. In both instances, a user attempted to log in to a secure federal website from an older computer whose antimalware and anti-virus software were not current. The U.S. Department of Education’s security system detected “key logging” (recording a computer user’s keystroke activity, often to gain fraudulent access to passwords and other confidential information).
The U.S. Department of Education has specific technical requirements for computer hardware and software that interface with federal systems.
Officials from both colleges have contacted offices within the U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Student Aid Customer Support requesting their access be restored. The reactivation process has several levels of approval from multiple authorities and could take an extended amount of time to complete. Without required access, financial aid administrators cannot exchange any electronic files with federal processors or make record-level updates. Likewise, business officers are unable to
access the G-5 system to draw down federal funds.