Still no internet in Albany schools for ‘forensic investigation’

ALBANY – There will be no internet in Albany schools for one more day, after an attempted cyberattack last weekend, school Superintendent Kaweeda Adams said.

The federal Homeland Security agency and other experts need more time to finish a forensic investigation to determine who or what tried to repeatedly hack into the school district, Adams said. Originally they had planned to finish the investigation by the end of Wednesday.

In addition, they are checking every machine in the district for programs that might have snuck in during the attack.

They must “interrogate all our machines to make sure nothing’s hiding,” she said.

The forensic investigation could also lead to changes in how the district keeps its systems secure, she said.

But the superintendent emphasized again that although the district was repeatedly hacked over the weekend, the attacks did not succeed. Adams did not specify how the hackers attempted to gain access.

“None of our information was compromised,” she said. “Our team was getting all the notifications of (cyberattack) activity and we were able to shut down that access.”

In the meantime, teachers will use printed materials for one more day, and students will not be able to use their Chromebooks or district-issued hotspots. 

The district has established an “alternate” way to maintain business operations, so that it could update the website, collect attendance and complete other duties. Employees will be paid as normal, she said.

The shutdown Thursday will give investigators an additional four days to work, because Friday is a school holiday.