Most files recovered in school ransomware attack

by Kate Evans

Morgan County Schools has been able to recover most of the files that were lost in a July 2 ransomware attack that affected many businesses and agencies in the United States and around the world. A Russian-based hacker group initially demanded $70 million to stop the widespread cyberattack.

School Superintendent Kristen Tuttle said local schools did not have to pay the hackers to get their files back. She said previously that the attack was contained to some of their office computers.  Some individual machines were infected and some files were locked.

Tuttle said there were a few school administrator computers that were impacted in the attack as well.  The county school technology team first went through computers in the central office and then checked computers at the schools to see if any had been compromised.  All school computers have been swept for malware.

Kaseya, a Florida software company whose subsidiaries   remotely handle security and IT infrastructure for small businesses and public agencies, was hacked on July 2.  Ransomware was imbedded in a software tool.  Computers were infected with the ransomware when they downloaded updates, Tuttle said.

Superintendent Tuttle said that they have not found any evidence that any personal information of students or staff was stolen.

“We have been able to recover most of the encrypted files.  We are back to business as usual and preparing for the upcoming school year.  I am pleased with our technology department and their professional and expert handling of the ransomware attack.  We were able to achieve a relatively quick recovery despite the complicated attack,” Tuttle said.