Students in the Pittsburg Unified School District of Pennsylvania were left without internet access on Monday as the result of a ransomware attack.
With schools’ internet servers and email compromised, youngsters returning to classes after the winter break were forced to enrich their brains the old-fashioned way, through books and direct teaching.
“We will be teaching and learning like ‘back in the day,’ without laptops and internet,” wrote Pittsburg Unified School District Superintendent Janet Schulze on social media on Monday night.
“Our schools have access to student information and our phones are working.”
Alongside her message that students would be going back to “old school,” Schulze said that a ransomware attack had disabled the district’s network systems during the festive break.
According to The Mercury News, the district took all the servers affected by the attack offline, along with any servers that may have potentially been compromised.
No personal data is reported to have been accessed as a result of the incident, and normal teaching schedules were resumed on Tuesday.
“At this time, we do not have any indication that personal data/information has been compromised,” wrote Schulze.
“We are continuing to investigate and work with a cybersecurity team and experts. Since the investigation is continuing, complete findings are not available, and it is still too early for us to provide further details.”
It was reported on Tuesday that the district was working with two internet technology companies to find a remedy for the attack. Contact has also been established with attorneys who specialize in dealing with the fallout from ransomware attacks.
The latest ransomware attack is the second such incident to befall a Contra Costa County system since the new year began. On Friday, January 3, a similar attack on Contra Costa County Library System resulted in a network outage in which services at 26 branches were impacted.
Library services are yet to be restored, and visitors to the system’s website are being greeted with the message: “Our network is currently down, and patrons are unable to login at this time. We are investigating the issue and will establish service as soon as possible.”
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