Ransomware Attack Closes Nantucket Schools

February 3, 2023

Public schools on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket remained closed on Wednesday a day after a ransomware attack targeted the district’s computer system and prompted officials to send students home early.

“Together with outside data security experts, our Information Technology Department has been working very hard all day to restore our computers and internet service,” Superintendent Beth Hallett said Tuesday in a message to the the school community.

Students in the island’s five public schools were sent home at noon Tuesday and told not to use school-issued electronic devices. The district has nearly 1,700 students, according to state records.

“All student and staff devices have been shut down, and our safety and security systems, including phones and security cameras, are also disabled,” Hallett said in an email to parents.

In such cyberattacks, data is encrypted and the target of the attack is asked to pay an exorbitant ransom so they can retrieve the data

No details on the Nantucket investigation were disclosed.

The Los Angeles Unified School District was the target of a cyberattack last September and last week the school district in Des Moines — Iowa’s largest —was hit. The Swansea, Massachusetts, school system was hit with an attack early last month.

Topics Cyber K-12

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