Technology Interruptions

Keep checking this page for the latest updates on the February 2021 technology interruptions at Central Piedmont.

Latest Updates

Find additional details for the systems and tools that affect employees and students:

Thursday, February 25, 2021: Help Desk Phone and Chat Back Online

Central Piedmont’s Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk phone line and online chat tool are back online and working to help students and employees. Now, you can reach the Help Desk team by phone at 704.330.5000 or by online chat during the following hours:

  • Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Saturday, 8 a.m.–noon

We encourage you to contact the Help Desk with your technology questions and concerns. The team is prepared to help you if you are having difficulty with:

  • reactivating your Central Piedmont username (If you had trouble reactivating your username due to a name change, the Activator application has been updated to address this issue. Please try the Activator application again.)
  • Google Gmail and Google Workspace
  • Webex
  • and more!

If you need help with Brightspace, please contact Brightspace Customer Support at 1.877.325.7778. You can also live chat with a Brightspace representative. In the Brightspace navigation menu, select “Support,” then “Chat with Brightspace Support 24/7.”

Due to the recent cyberattack and the team’s resources, Help Desk wait times may be longer than usual. Please be patient as the team works to address all questions as quickly as possible.

Watch the following video messages from Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Heather Hill to learn more about the college's plans to deliver courses using Brightspace instead of Blackboard moving forward. Be on the lookout for a similar message from Dr. Hill sent to your email. You can find resources to learn how to use Brightspace on the Information for Employees and Information for Students pages.

Dr. Hill's Message to Students

Dr. Hill's Message to Employees

Past Updates

  • Wednesday, February 17, 2021: Classes Resuming, Spring Break, and More

    As you know, Central Piedmont experienced a ransomware cyberattack on February 10. Once the intrusion was identified, the college’s Information Technology Services team worked quickly to take all network services offline to prevent the spread of the ransomware and limit damage to the college’s network.

    Since February 10, federal and state law enforcement agencies have conducted an exhaustive digital forensics investigation, examining how the ransomware attack was conducted and searching for evidence that might lead to the hackers’ identity. The investigations are ongoing. For law enforcement and other security reasons, the college has not and will not be able to share most details or information related to these investigations. However, to date, the investigations have found no evidence that any student or employee personal information was accessed or extracted. The investigations have also found no evidence that any data shared between the college and its partners and vendors have been compromised.

    The college’s Information Technology Services and Academic Affairs teams have worked tirelessly over the last week to develop an initial plan for restoring the network systems safely and restarting the spring semester. The following are Central Piedmont’s plans for moving forward.

    Classes Resuming Monday, February 22 and March 1

    The following classes will resume on Monday, February 22:

    • on-campus classes
    • online classes that are in Brightspace
    • online portions of hybrid classes that are in Brightspace

    We will send students in these classes more information once we get access to employee email back.

    All other spring semester classes will resume by March 1.

    Online and Hybrid Classes that had Been on Blackboard

    These classes will resume on Brightspace. Faculty members who were using Blackboard for their classes will finish the semester using Brightspace. Adapting classes to Brightspace will take some time, but our faculty members are resilient and will work to help our students complete the semester on time.

    When You Start Coming Back to Campus

    Remember that anyone coming to campus next week (students and employees) need to have your college ID card. College Security Services prefers that IDs be displayed in a manner that allows the ID to be seen easily. If you are a student and you don't have a student ID yet, be prepared to let College Security know which class/section/instructor you’re on campus for. Return to campus information

    Spring Break

    Given that the cyberattack has interrupted our spring semester, the planned spring break from March 8–12 will now need to be teaching days for many classes. This is unfortunately the only way to keep students on track to complete the spring semester on time. Staying on track is important, especially for those of you in the last semester of your program who absolutely need to complete your program on time.

    College Email

    The college will officially let students and employees know when we have access to employee email back.

    Counseling and Other Assistance

    The college appreciates your patience, students. This has been a frustrating time for the entire college community. Once employee email is back up, please look for information from Student Affairs related to counseling and any other assistance you might need.

    Grades and Program Completion

    The college will work with students to minimize any impact the technology interruption might have on your grades and program completion goals. Staying flexible and patient will be key for everyone.

    Thank you for hanging in there. Your education is so important. Our college will move beyond this challenge. Together, we will Conquer Possibility.

  • Sunday, February 14, 2021: Ransomware Attack and Recovery Updates

    Important updates for Central Piedmont students and employees concerning the ransomware attack and recovery have been posted. Please read as soon as possible the student technology interruptions information and employee technology interruptions information. Employees will continue working remotely. Students should check for information about classes.

  • Friday, February 12, 2021, Afternoon: Ransomware Attack

    Central Piedmont Community College has experienced a ransomware attack, which was discovered Wednesday evening, February 10. The college’s Information Technology Services (ITS) staff worked tirelessly through the night to take the college’s critical systems off-line, including phones and email, as a precautionary measure. The college website has remained in operation. Since Wednesday evening the college has communicated with students and employees via text, voicemail, social media, and the website.

    Since early Thursday morning, February 11, ITS staff have been working to assess the full extent of the intrusion, while determining and prioritizing which major systems could be brought back on line safely.

    The college immediately began working with the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) Cyber Incident Response Team, the NC Department of Public Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other federal and state agencies to assist with the investigation, provide help in determining the extent of the intrusion, develop a sound strategy for restoring the systems taken off-line and, where necessary, rebuild damaged or comprised systems. At this time, based on this broad-scale investigative effort, the college has no evidence any employee or student personal data was compromised or extracted.

    A number of college systems remain offline, including phones, email, and the Blackboard and Brightspace learning management systems. At this time, it’s not clear when these and other off-line systems will be restored. Work is ongoing by ITS staff and representatives from some of the previously mentioned organizations. The process cannot be rushed; however, in some cases system and data backups will aid in the work.

    Sadly, cyber intrusions, ransomware attacks, and other cyber incidents have become a significant threat to U.S. businesses, government, public services, schools, and individuals.

    Until college email is restored, updates will be provided via text, voicemail, social media, and the college website. Please check this webpage for further updates.

    The college recognizes this ransomware attack has impacted students’ classes, assignments and deadlines. Instructors will communicate specifics about managing class assignments once the needed systems are restored. The college asks for everyone’s patience as we work through this process.

  • Friday, February 12, 2021, Morning: Some Classes Will Meet

    Most Central Piedmont classes this weekend will be canceled due to continued technology disruptions. Some select classes have been notified they will meet on campus. The college's Information Technology Services team is working around the clock to bring critical systems back online.

    A reminder: faculty and staff email accounts are still offline, so instructors cannot respond to students via college email or Blackboard.

    We are aware this outage might impact class assignments and deadlines. Instructors understand that students cannot complete assignments without access to resources and will ensure students have adequate time when systems are back online.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2021, Evening: College Remains Closed

    Due to the system-wide technology interruptions, Central Piedmont will remain closed Friday, February 12. Information Technology Services continues its work to resolve the issues.

    Most Friday classes are cancelled. Some select classes have been notified they will meet on campus. Students, if you have not been notified that your class(es) will meet on campus, you should not come to campus. College events that were scheduled for Friday have been cancelled.

    Some students have been able to send emails using their college email accounts; however, faculty and staff email accounts are still offline, so instructors cannot respond to students via college email. We recognize this outage might impact class assignment and deadlines. Instructors will communicate specifics about managing assignments and due dates once the systems are available.

    Students and employees should continue to look for updates via text, voicemail, and the Central Piedmont website.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2021, Morning: College Closed

    Due to system-wide technology interruptions, Central Piedmont will be closed Thursday, February 11 and all classes cancelled, as Information Technology Services works to resolve the issues. A number of systems have been impacted, including email, so students and employees should look for updates via text, voicemail, and the college website.

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2021: Technology Interruptions

    Information Technology Services (ITS) is currently experiencing system-wide interruptions to most services, including Outlook, Blackboard, Citrix, Colleague, and more. Refer to the system status page for more information on specific services. Employees, we recommend you stay logged into Webex — do not log out at this time, as you might have difficulty logging back in. ITS will provide more updates as they become available.