Tags: Cyber Security | ransomware | hack | flagstaff | arizona

Ransomware Attack Forces School Closures in Flagstaff, Arizona

Lines of computer code
Lines of computer code (Thamrongpat Theerathammakorn/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 06 September 2019 01:34 PM

Schools were closed in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Friday as officials tried to fight a ransomware attack, The Hill is reporting.

The Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) includes 15 schools and more than 9,600 students. Officials had canceled classes Thursday after the ransomware virus was discovered on servers.

District spokesman Zachery Fountain told The Hill that officials had decided to sever internet connections at the schools in an attempt to contain the virus. The virus encrypts systems and demands payments before permitting users to access the system again. Payments are usually demanded in the form of bitcoin, according to The Hill.

"Unfortunately, revoking the internet accessibility, while enhancing security, limited our ability to hold school as a number of our systems were simultaneously taken down by that one decision — requiring that we close schools until our regular business systems and back-up systems are fully available," Fountain said.

A district statement said progress had been made in "securing critical FUSD systems," but work will have to continue through the weekend to permit students to return to classes on Monday, according to the Arizona Daily Sun.

And Fountain said: "There has been no conversation about paying the ransom."

The Hill noted school districts in Oklahoma, Virginia, New York, and Louisiana have previously been victims of ransomware.

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Schools were closed in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Friday as officials tried to fight a ransomware attack, The Hill is reporting.
ransomware, hack, flagstaff, arizona
214
2019-34-06
Friday, 06 September 2019 01:34 PM
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