The Baltimore County Public School (BCPS) system has canceled lessons after an obvious ransomware attack shut down inside networks. Described by officers as “a networking issue,” the outage is affecting the schools’ e mail and grading methods, amongst others.
BCPS chief of workers Mychael Dickerson confirmed on Twitter that the outage is believed to be the results of a ransomware attack. “We were the victim of a ransomware cyber attack,” he stated. “Our BCPS technology team is working to address the situation.” Dickerson might solely tweet the message for the reason that BCPS web site is at present down.
As a results of the outage, places of work have been closed for the day and college students have been given the time without work. “We knew it wouldn’t be a quick fix,” Dickerson instructed The Baltimore Sun. “We just don’t want people standing by thinking we’ll get back up.”
Ransomware assaults have change into a typical tactic for cybercriminals, typically concentrating on underfunded infrastructure like hospitals, schools, and municipal governments. A separate ransomware attack paralyzed Baltimore’s City authorities in May of final 12 months, shutting down on-line methods for paying water payments and different providers. Major firms like Honda, Garmin, and Canon have additionally been compromised by ransomware. In September, a ransomware attack on the Düsseldorf University Hospital was linked to the demise of a feminine affected person, the primary demise immediately tied to a ransomware attack on medical amenities.
Ransomware assaults work by encrypting information on compromised networks and locking out the community operators. Criminals then ask for a ransom fee (usually in bitcoin) to revive performance. Because the ransom is usually decrease than the price of restoration, many victims merely pay the requested quantity, making it an sadly worthwhile scheme. In February, a report by ID Ransomware estimated that US companies paid greater than $1.3 billion to resolve ransomware assaults in 2019.