West Michigan school district hit with ransomware attack shuts down phones, computers | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

ROCKFORD, MI — Rockford Public Schools has temporarily shut down its computer, email and phone systems after a ransomware attack early Wednesday, May 15.

The shutdown is likely to last for at least a couple days, Rockford Schools Superintendent Steve Matthews said.

District leaders were notified about 6 a.m. Wednesday that the district’s phones and internet were not working.

Matthews said they initially believed the issue was because of a vendor problem, but some notes were soon discovered on random printers that detailed the ransom request.

In response, the district quickly shut down all connections to wi-fi and other network systems.

Police and school leaders do not suspect any threat to students. School was held as usual and security systems for doors are still functional, Matthews said.

The ransomware note asked the district to pay money on a web site. Matthews said the FBI is involved in an investigation and working with district staff.

Matthews said it likely will take at least a couple days before the district can return to normal.

“We’re trying to identify how much they got into the system,” he said. “It was just some random printers here and there, so we don’t think they accessed anything.”

He said the first few hours without district phones and email was a “tough pivot” for staff, but that “teachers seem to be adapting pretty well.”

He expects Thursday will run smoother for classrooms.

Matthews said there are cell phones in each school building that parents can call to reach staff.

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