Nantucket — A computer virus forced the shutdown of all system devices and computer systems at Nantucket Public Schools on Tuesday morning, according to Superintendent Elizabeth Hallett.
In a letter to parents, Hallett said the school’s devices were hit with ransomware. According to the state of Massachusetts, malicious software encrypts your data, making it inaccessible until a ransom is paid to Cyberhe hackers.
In response to the cyberattack, all student and staff devices were shut down, and the school’s safety and security systems, including phones and security cameras, were also disabled.
In a letter sent to parents Tuesday morning, Hallett said students and staff were dismissed at noon, but all sporting events are scheduled regularly.
What are school officials doing to solve the problem?
Timothy Lepore, chairman of the Nantucket Schools Board, said Tuesday that Hallett was busy informing parents about the ransomware and finding a safe place to fire the student.
“The Superintendent is not only trying to figure out what’s going on[in cybersecurity]but he’s making sure all the kids are being cared for,” Lepore said.
Lepore claimed the situation was under control and said the school was partnering with the Nantucket Boys and Girls Club to provide care for the children until the ransomware situation was resolved.
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Lepore said at the time of the interview, no date has been set for students and staff to return to school.
“We are making sure that all parents are aware of the situation and where their children are,” he said. I am working hard to do so.”
Lepore said he was unaware of the fees demanded of the school district or how far-reaching the ransomware attack would be within the digital and computerized data of school systems.
What is ransomware and how does it work?
Ransomware attacks typically require victims to pay a fee in the form of bitcoin within a period of time to restore their systems, said Philip Morrison, co-owner of PC Solutions Cape Cod in Yarmouth. I’m here. “(The virus) cannot be stopped once it starts,” Morrison said. “If you want your files back, you will have to pay a ransom in the form of bitcoins for the hackers to provide you with the encryption keys.”
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Morrison, who has helped companies from Cape Cod to Plymouth deal with ransomware attacks, called the operation businesslike and said there are companies helping victims reach settlement agreements with hackers. . Some companies are held hostage until they pay a ransom of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The FBI has been particularly involved in the school system these days,” he said. “These attacks leave your hands completely tied. You can’t even remotely learn. They can’t access your information. That can be a really bad scenario.”
Please contact Rachael Devaney at [email protected] Follow her on her Twitter: @RachaelDevaney.
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