Ahead of MCAS testing, ransomware attack impacts Concord school district – Boston 25 News | #ransomware | #cybercrime

CONCORD, Mass. — Officials are investigating after the Concord Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle Regional School District were hit with a cyber security attack last week.

In a letter sent home to families on Sunday, Superintendent Laurie Hunter said the attack caused network issues and the district’s IT team worked 18-hour days to fix the issue.

“There are a lot of moving pieces, and information has been continually evolving,” Superintendent Hunter said. “As you know, we had network issues last week. It is clear now that we are victims of a cyber security attack that included a ransom file. There are a lot of moving pieces, and information has been continually evolving.”

“There is no evidence of student data being compromised,” Superintendent Hunter said. “We are working with a number of outside teams, including a forensic team, a legal team, and our insurance provider.”

District officials say the malware only affected PCs and the central office was impacted the most. New networks were reportedly established at each school and access was restored to all MacIntosh devices, according to officials. They also learned of an alleged possibility of a data breach as the investigation unfolded.

As a result of the cyber attack, the cafeterias at Concord Middle School and Concord-Carlisle High School are taking cash only for snacks and several central office employees had to reset their passwords. MCAS testing is planned for Tuesday and the letter states that officials wanted to have everything ready for then.

A spokesperson for the school district would not comment beyond what was in the letter, including on whether MCAS testing was affected by the hack.

“I will again thank all of those who have worked tirelessly for days,” Superintendent Hunter concluded. “As has always happened, everyone collaboratively rises to the challenge, and we work through it together. The investigation is ongoing. I will provide updates as I have them.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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