Taos schools resolving ransomware attack

By Jesse Moya
Posted 3/21/19

Hackers took control of Taos Municipal Schools digital services Feb. 28 using ransomware and demanded $5,000 for return of control to the district.

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Taos schools resolving ransomware attack


Taos Municipal Schools District  has been hard at work addressing a ransomware attack that knocked out the district's digital services almost three weeks ago.

On Feb. 28, Taos Schools suffered a cyber attack, with hackers demanding $5,000 in cash as ransom for the return of the control to their digital services. Emails, class instruction and the district website were disabled as part of the attack, which has been mostly resolved according to school officials Thursday (March 21).

“Our IT department has been working 20 hour days to recreate our websites,” said Taos Superintendent Lilian Torrez, who said there's no evidence personal information of students or staff was compromised. 

No money was paid and staff have eliminated the threat, she said.

Currently, the district is working with forensics teams as well as the FBI to find the ones responsible for the attack.

Torrez said she is waiting for full conformation from the forensics teams as well as the technology team.

“We are working diligently to restore full functionality to all systems and to investigate this incident as quickly as we possibly can,” Torrez said in a release. “At this time, however, we cannot provide a precise time table for the conclusion of those efforts.”

Torrez said the majority of the situation has been resolved but the teams are combing the servers for additional encryptions. The investigation is ongoing.

One parent said the ransomware attack had prevented students and parents from accessing homework assignments and grades through the district's network. 

For more on the ransomware attack, see the March 28 edition of The Taos News.


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