Incidents

Ransomware attack closes all schools in Baltimore

According to a report by Baltimore public officials, all public schools in the county had to stop their operations after being affected by a ransomware infection. The report, signed by Superintendent Darryl Williams, notes that the schools were closed in order to limit the impact of the attack and to initiate the investigation.

According to Williams, all network systems in the district for now will remain inaccessible because the unidentified threat actor managed to take control of these resources in order to demand a ransom in exchange for restoring everything to normal.

Local authorities did not disclose the amount of ransom demanded by the hacker or hackers or the malware variant used: “We have just begun the investigation; I know there’s interest in getting more information about the incident, but at the moment we can’t add any more details,” said Melissa Hyatt, Baltimore County Police Chief.

The incident has already come to the ears of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which issued a brief message about it: “We are aware of the cyberattack on Baltimore County schools. In line with its usual policy, the FBI does not confirm or deny an investigation into it, but we endorse our willingness to cooperate in the process.”

As it was the IT infrastructure of dozens of public schools, the incident was perceived by hundreds of parents. Amy, a student’s mother, says it all started failing from the night before: “I tried to connect to a board meeting but suddenly the screen turned blue.” Local school authorities asked parents to use only laptops for upcoming sessions and until further notice.

Finally, the Baltimore County Teachers Association asked parents to leave their desktop computers turned off and not turn them on until they receive news from the school district to prevent any further outbreaks. No further information has been provided so far.

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