Cyber security concerns raised in schools | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Scranton School District continues to deal with a ransomware attack, and until it is resolved, staff and students can’t use technology within the schools.

28/22 News reporter Kathryn Oleary was live with answers on what a ransomware attack is and how you can take steps to avoid it happening to you.

In light of the cyber attack Scranton School District is facing, 28/22 News spoke with experts on cyber security & ransomware to understand more about what goes on during an attack.

Hacked, infected, and vulnerable that’s what happens when ransomware infiltrates a network.

“So the organization can’t all function, and it is perpetrated by criminal gangs,” said Sai Huda the CEO of Cybercatch.

There are usually two ways hackers can infect your networks with ransomware the first one, playing on human emotions, also known as social engineering.

“They’ll craft these clever emails, they’re called spearfishing and they’ll be required to either click on something that attach which has malicious code or they will motivate them or fool them to click on a link because it’s important or urgent,” explained Huda.

If you don’t fall for the faulty email there’s still another way the attackers can exploit your information and that is through outdated systems.

“They can scan anything that’s interfacing like websites or interfacing web applications, and they’ll find frequently bad code or vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched so they will then use that to get into the network,” added Huda.

When it all goes down the attackers may demand a payment usually in a cryptocurrency form.

“So using the ransomware attack, freezing the databases, and then they just request the ransom money through bitcoin,” stated Sinchul Back ph.D, Director of Cybercrime and Homeland Security Program, University of Scranton.

“It’s hard to trace as opposed to obviously wire transfer or some other payment that can be easily traceable to them,” continued Huda.

Anybody can be a target, especially with big networks such as schools and hospitals.

“They realize these organizations have limited I.T. budgets, maybe haven’t invested in cybersecurity so it’s easily infectable,” says Huda.

There are proactive steps you can take to make sure you or your business is prepared in the event of a ransomware attack.


  • Implement a cyber security framework that will help manage the network’s data
  • Do two different cyber drills, both simulating an active attack but one focusing on how quickly your security can detect the attack.
  • Focusing on spotting the flaws & weaknesses within the system so they can be fixed.

Huda emphasized the importance of taking those steps not only for organizations that haven’t been attacked but want to prepare also for organizations that were attacked, to make sure that the back door is not open for the attackers to easily come back in for more.


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National Cyber Security