[BreachExchange] Cyber attack affects Wolcott Public Schools

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Fri Aug 30 00:47:56 EDT 2019


WOLCOTT, CT (WFSB) – A cyber attack hit Wolcott Public Schools causing
the district’s files and information to become encrypted before summer

According to reports, the district is considering paying money in
exchange for the hackers to restore everything.

Ransomware is a form of malware where hackers block access to a
computer system until a ransom is paid.

“I can say I wasn’t happy about knowing about this especially when I
heard that is had occurred before the end of the school year,” said
Chief Edward Stephens, Wolcott Police Department.

The superintendent told the Republican-American Newspaper, elementary
school teachers are still unable to access their lesson plans.

Superintendent Anthony Gasper continued to say the attack effected
every server and every network switch, however, he said no private
date is in jeopardy.

Gasper claims most of the data has been recovered and it appears the
district is planning to negotiate with the hackers using bitcoin, a
digital currency, which allows anonymous transactions.

Channel 3 has been trying to speak with Gasper all day about the
cyber-attack, but when we called him, he said he had no comment and
hung up the phone.

The Republican-American reported Gasper did not confirm or deny
reports from other district officials that the school board approved

People in town are divided. Some say the district shouldn’t pay it,
while others say it’s in the students best interest.

“Well, the last thing you want to do is just automatically give up a
fee for ransom, but sometimes, I think from a business standpoint, it
may end up costing the town more if they don’t do that,” said Jim
Beland of Wolcott.

It’s unclear who’s involved in this virus strike, but Channel 3
learned the district failed to notify the Wolcott Police Department.

Instead, the district reached out to the Connecticut Intelligence
Center, which is made up of local, state, and federal law enforcement.

What’s not known at this point is if the district pays, will the
hackers honor their end of the bargain.

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