Baltimore County Schools close after a ransomware attack

Pierluigi Paganini December 01, 2020

Baltimore County Schools were hit by a ransomware attack that forced them to close leaving more than 100,000 students out.

Baltimore County Schools are still closed following a ransomware attack and unfortunately, at the time of this writing, it is impossible to predict when school will resume.

School officials notified state and federal law enforcement agencies, that launched an investigation into the incident.

At the time of the attack, more 115,000 students were attending classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. School officials reported that the ransomware attack impacted the district’s website, email system, and grading system.

Superintendent Darryl L. Williams confirmed that he has no timeline for when the school will resume its operations.

Schools officials announced that the offices will be open.

“This provides much-needed time for our staff to continue working to set up the instructional platform and to communicate next steps regarding devices,” the school system said on social media.

The sad news is that the incident was not a surprise, the Baltimore County Public Schools system was notified by state auditors of several cybersecurity flaw the day before the district was hit with the ransomware attack. The audit was published by the Baltimore Sun.

“Significant risks existed within BCPS computer network,” the audit stated. “For example, monitoring of security activities over critical systems was not sufficient, and its computer network was not properly secured. In this regard, publicly accessible servers were located in BCPS internal network rather than being isolated in a separate protected network zone to minimize risks.”

Below a series of updates provided by the Baltimore County Schools:

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, malware)

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