NY School District Cancels School After Cybersecurity Threat

NY School District Cancels School After Cybersecurity Threat

The school district delayed its first day of school as a precaution.

The Monroe-Woodbury Central School District in New York delayed its first day of school after hackers tried to hold the district’s network for ransom money.

Before the hackers could take control of the system, the district’s cyber security monitoring service kicked in and shut the network down.However, as a precaution, the district decided to cancel classes at its seven campuses.

Parents were notified via email of the attack.

"We recognize that for our families this unexpected schedule change may be difficult,” the email to parents from Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez read. “The safety and security of our students is always our first priority and we believe this extra time will allow us to better prepare for a smooth first day for our students and staff.”

The district did welcome students back on Thursday.

District officials told CBS New York they do not believe any of their data was breached.

“Fortunately, at this point we don’t believe that any of our data has been breached, but we have a cyber security assessment team that is coming in and they will go through this process,” Rodriguez said. “It will take us a while, so for the time being we’re using paper and pen. We’re going back to the old days.”

According to Mimecast’s State of Email Security report, the education sector is seeing more and more ransomware and email attacks.According to the report, 56 percent of organizations in the education sector saw an increase in phishing with malicious links or attachments in the last year.

Additionally, when those organizations experience a ransomware attack, 73 percent experience two-to-five days of downtime, according to the report.The tri-state area has been seeing a trend of cyber attacks on school districts.

A school district in Nassau County ended up paying the hacker $88,000 to get the district’s mainframe back.

“Ransomware is prolific right now and there’s more of it going on in government and education institutions than in private industry. We seem to be targets now,” Anthony Carfora of the Lupinskie Center for Current Technology told CBS New York.

About the Author

Sherelle Black is a Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

  • Emerging Campus Access Control Solutions

    Emerging solutions in campus access control can mean different things. Usually, we expect the topic to focus on the very latest in door security products and solutions that have just been recently released or are about to be launched. After all, staying up on improvements to keep campuses safer is critical. Plus, it’s always interesting and exciting to learn what’s new and how innovations are going to better protect lives and assets and help the industry be even more successful. Read Now

  • Here’s How Instructional Audio Can Play a Key Role in School Safety

    Ensuring the safety of students and employees is critical in today’s educational environment. While the threat of a school shooting is in the back of everyone’s mind, the truth is there are many possible scenarios that could crop up at any time in classrooms, hallways, and other school spaces—from fights or altercations to a sick child or staff member who requires emergency attention. Read Now

Webinars