Ransomware attack cancels classes at Haverhill Public Schools

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Classes were canceled Thursday at Haverhill Public Schools because of a ransomware attack on the district’s computer system. Some students were expected to return to class on Friday, but middle and high school students will continue to learn remotely. The district’s superintendent says their IT department managed to shut down the network “before large-scale corruption of the system occurred,” but it will still take time to get email, phones, and Google Meet up and running.During a school committee meeting Thursday night, Superintendent Margaret Marotta explained the tedious process of checking every computer district-wide. “They really have to go through every instrument in the school district and clean it and make sure it’s safe to return to the system one at a time,” Marotta said. By phone, the mayor says it appears backup systems and city computers were not impacted. “That’s the key to any of these things,” James Fiorentini, the mayor of Haverhill said. “If you catch it before it infects the backups, you can restore and you’re OK.”The ransom amount is still unclear, as is the group behind the attack.The Haverhill mayor said that the city of Lawrence was also hit, but city officials did not reply to WCVB’s inquiries. The district is hopeful that cloud-based systems will be returned to working order by Friday morning, but there will be no Wi-Fi in the buildings.”We got an email and a call regarding that there was a virus going on with the computer, there was no internet,” said parent Tamika Velasquez. “I tried to email my teacher but it didn’t work,” said Javius DeLeon, a fourth-grade studentDespite bright sun and temperatures in the 60s, Thursday was considered a snow day, and it will be made up at the end of the school year.Thursday was supposed to be the first day back to school for grades two, three and four.Haverhill police said the department is working with school officials to determine the origin of the hack.

Classes were canceled Thursday at Haverhill Public Schools because of a ransomware attack on the district’s computer system.

Some students were expected to return to class on Friday, but middle and high school…

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