Buffalo Public Schools targeted by ransomware attack, could cause school cancellation

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Dr. Kriner Cash said if the situation is not resolved this weekend, some school may be canceled next week.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Public Schools canceled all remote instruction Friday after the district said their school computer system suffered a ransomware event.

The district put out a statement early Friday morning, saying there was an “unanticipated interruption” in the network systems.

“It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this place and time, where our school district is attacked by criminals, and we are subject to their demands,” Buffalo Public Schools board president Sharon Belton -Cottman said.

Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said they’ve disconnected systems from the internet and added that they are trying to contain the attack and assess the situation. He said they’ve approved a $40,000 emergency contract with Grey Castle for a cyber security investigation.

The district said at this time no demands have been made, but the FBI has found that ransom may be between $100,000 to $300,000 and could be negotiable.

The FBI is assisting the district. The district is also getting help from cybersecurity consultants from as far as Atlanta and from major corporations such as M&T Bank, Cash said.

“With regard to this particular ransomware attack, it encrypted our data files, so it has handicapped us in terms of being able to access our system,” according to BPS chief technology officer Myra Burden.

Dr. Cash said it was important to spread the message Friday evening because if the situation is not resolved this weekend, school may be canceled next…