Morris

The Oneonta Police Department is continuing its investigation of an alleged threat at SUNY Oneonta according to Chief Douglas Brenner; working alongside the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit, University Police, the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI.

“We verified the fact that the student was a victim of cyber-hacking, which generated the threat,” Brenner said. “So the student is really kind of the victim here.”

“All we know is that the IP address that hacked the phone was traced to California,” said Kim MacLeod, associate director of communications at the college.

Because the address is a VPN — a virtual private network — it could have originated anywhere in the world, she said.

SUNY Oneonta president Barbara Jean Morris addressed students in a Wednesday night email.

“I am so sorry that we suffered the threat of violence on our campus,” she wrote. “Unlike other events around the country, I am thankful that what transpired here presented no real danger.”

“However, it has shown us our vulnerabilities,” the letter continued. “Now, we will work on ways to improve. This will be important work.”

An investigation concluded that “no SUNY Oneonta student played any role in this incident,” Morris wrote, echoing law enforcement’s conclusion that the threat was the result of a cyber attack.

“While there is no evidence to suggest that our campus is in danger, fear is a natural reaction to uncertainty,” she continued, noting that counseling services are available to those in need. “I believe it is important that we come together as a community to learn from this event and become stronger.”

Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at seames@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.

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