Hurts when it is close to home and involves your grandchildren.
As the Washington Post reported on September 11, hackers successfully attacked the Fairfax County Public Schools computer system in Virginia and placed ransomware on some of its systems.
The district serves 189,000 students in northern Virginia. It said it had recently learned of the attack and it is working with security experts to investigate the scope of the attack and determine what information was stolen.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and are working diligently to address the issue,” FCPS spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said in a statement. “We have retained leading security experts to help us investigate the matter and recover from the situation. We also are coordinating our efforts with law enforcement authorities. The protection of our students’ information is a top priority for Fairfax County Public Schools.”
The hacker group MAZE posted on its website that it had successfully infiltrated the school district’s site with ransomware. The group offered proof of its attack by uploading a zip file of data it exfiltrated from the school system.
The district is working as well with the FBI to determine the impact on its data. It said it will notify affected parties based on the results of the investigation.
“We currently believe we may have been victimized by cyber criminals who have been connected to dozens of ransomware attacks in other school systems and corporations worldwide,” the district wrote in an email to everyone in the school system Friday evening. “We will work with law enforcement to the fullest extent to prosecute any individuals or groups that attack our systems.”
The ransom demand has not yet been revealed. As I write, the story is developing – I will follow up if there are further developments this week.
Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President, Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
3975 University Drive, Suite 225|Fairfax, VA 22030
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology