Ransomware Attack Likely the Culprit in Lancaster ISD System Shutdown

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Ransomware Attacks Are On The Rise

LANCASTER – Before the presidential election, before coronavirus, before vaccines, before where we can and can’t travel, before if we do or don’t have to wear a mask – before all that – there was ransomware.

It has been an ongoing issue in the United States for a number of years – it still is an ongoing issue.

Now that issue is hitting home in the Best Southwest city of Lancaster.

Earlier today Focus Daily News received information that a security breach in Lancaster ISD is very likely the result of a ransomware attack.

The situation has not yet been confirmed by Lancaster ISD officials, but this sensitive issue is delicate enough to be of concern not only to the Lancaster ISD district, but perhaps to other districts in the area as well.

Emails were sent to Lancaster ISD with questions regarding the security breach, but with no response, perhaps communication is completely down due to the cyber security threat.

What we don’t know is what has been affected by the breach. How did it happen, how compromised are student and employee private information and what are the demands in order to get the ISD system back up. Have other area ISD’s been notified or attacked?

The outlet www.ZDNet.com wrote in an article “Every week there is a new organization facing a ransomware attack, but a new report from eSentire’s security research team and Dark Web researcher Mike Mayes says the incidents we see in the news are just a small slice of the true number of victims.”

What is frightening is that these attacks, some more severe than others, have users paying ransoms to get their files back up – like feeding a hungry bear.

No Organization Is Safe

This isn’t the first ransomware attack in the area either. Back in summer of 2019 the city of Wilmer was hit with an attack of the same nature along with other local cities in which municipal computers were being held for ransom. In Wilmer, it was the water department and the police department having their computers corrupted as well as the city’s library.

It has also been reported that often the hackers will ask for money paid in bitcoin currency in exchange for the data that has been seized.

Often it is smaller cities that are attacked because smaller city budgets mean less money to go toward maintaining a system that is bulletproof.

Back when the city of Wilmer was hit, it was just one of 22 cities in the state that were being held “hostage” for millions of dollars or else their data would remain encrypted.

As for the motive in Lancaster ISD, that is still being determined, and no one is talking just yet, but when they do it is certain residents will have many questions.

 

 

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