The data published includes more 750 employee mileage reports, 36 employee travel reimbursement forms, more than 700 invoices for spring water, more than 1,000 invoices for school construction work, about 400 payments to Broward Sheriff’s Office or local police departments for security, dozens of utility bills and several employee phone lists.
The ransomware attack on her daughter’s school was the last thing Glynnis Sanders needed.
Like most parents, Sanders has been performing a daily juggling act. When she’s not teaching special education classes at Buffalo Public Schools, she and her husband are usually making sure their three kids are attending their remote classes.
So it hit hard when hackers struck the school of her youngest daughter in early March, the Friday before she was supposed to finally return to in-person learning twice a week.
“It’s very frustrating. You think, how could this happen? You wonder if your information is secure,” Sanders said. “It’s just the headache of Covid as it is, and it’s adding to the stress of the school year. Like what else could happen?”
The hackers infected Buffalo’s schools with malicious code that spidered through their networks, freezing computers and making it impossible for teachers to reach their students who were working remotely because of the pandemic. They demanded a ransom to make it go away.
School officials canceled remote classes for the day while they figured out what to do. They would end up needing more than a week to resume their planned class schedule. A single infection of a school district can affect dozens or hundreds of schools: Buffalo counts 63 individual schools and learning systems.
In public statements, Buffalo Public Schools referred to what happened broadly as a “cybersecurity attack.” But it wasn’t a mindless act of internet vandalism. Buffalo had become the latest in a long spree of ransomware attacks, a type of hack where malicious software locks as many related computers as possible, rendering files inaccessible in an attempt to coerce victims to pay up.
The attack underscores how a once obscure form of cybercrime now preys on Americans almost daily. While some ransomware gangs spend months targeting large businesses in hopes of a giant payday, many also go after institutions that don’t have dedicated cybersecurity staff or expensive cybersecurity contracts to better protect them from…
HAVERHILL — After the Haverhill public schools computer system was attacked by ransomware early Wednesday morning, school was canceled Thursday, but classes will be back in session Friday with a mix of in-person and remote learning, officials said.
Superintendent Margaret Marotta said Thursday that the school information technology department has been working around the clock to get the hacked computer system working properly.
“This is a slow and tedious process,” Marotta said about reversing the cyber attack which resulted in the district’s computer systems shutting down. “We expect that by tomorrow (Friday) morning all cloud-based systems (phones, SchoolBrains, email and Google platform) will be returned to working order. However, we will not have WiFi in the buildings … Web-based programs including Google will not be accessible from inside the buildings.”
On Thursday night, Marotta gave the School Committee a recap of the ransomware attack. She said remnants of the attack were found on about 140 computers and that technicians have been working on each device to ensure they are all safe to reconnect to the district’s network.
She said the district’s IT department has plenty of technical help, including from police, Homeland Security, the FBI and a cyber security company, but that it takes time to do the work — a slow and methodical approach.
Marotta said the plan for Friday calls for students in prekindergarten to grade four to be in classrooms unless they are part of the Remote Learning Academy. Students in that academy will continue with online instruction from home.
Students in the TEACH program and those at the alternative school at Greenleaf Academy will have classroom learning Friday unless they are enrolled in remote learning.
Students in grades five to 12 will continue Friday with remote learning from home as scheduled. Those students have not yet returned to full-time classroom learning. Because there is no internet access in school buildings, teachers in those grades will provide online instruction from their homes.
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…