AN INVESTIGATION into hackers attacking Swindon College’s network revealed that no personal data had been stolen.

The cyber attack sparked fears that sensitive information of staff and students who attended or worked at the college over the last eight years could be used by criminals.

The college has worked with the National Crime Agency over the last month to find out how this happened and whether anything was taken.

Lizzie Scott of Swindon College said: “It’s a really positive thing for us because we have been working on this for weeks and finally found that nothing was extracted from the network.

“Through thorough analysis and investigation of our networks, we have seen that no data has been extracted. We want to reassure people that everything is OK.

“The privacy and confidentiality of personal information held on our systems is of the highest priority to the college.

“We are focused on ensuring we are fully able to safeguard our network from possible future attacks of this kind. It’s an opportunity to review our security and make improvements.

“Thank you for your patience whilst we have been investigating this issue.”

The college experienced an illegal network breach around mid-September which sparked a criminal investigation that is still ongoing.

Swindon College could not comment further on the progress of the investigation but hoped that this update about the data affected allayed concerns.

Student Chloe Webster was upset and distressed when she first heard about the hack but is now relieved. She said: “

Principal Steve Wain set up the email address shortly after the hack for those who may have been affected to contact and receive advice.

The college stayed open on the Saturday that the hack was made public knowledge so that staff could support students in person.

Mr Wain said at the time: “As soon as we became aware of the breach, we instigated our major incident plan.

“We immediately contacted local law enforcement agencies, the National Crime Agency and the Information Commissioners Office.

“The indication is that this was a sophisticated cyber-attack and that our systems were deliberately and criminally accessed.

“We are following all recommended procedures and processes and have engaged external expert third party agencies who are supporting us."