Scranton School District in Pennsylvania suffered a ransomware attack

Pierluigi Paganini March 16, 2024

School districts continue to be under attack, schools in Scranton, Pennsylvania, are suffering a ransomware attack.

This week, schools in Scranton, Pennsylvania, experienced a ransomware attack, resulting in IT outages. The Scranton School District is working with third-party forensic specialists to investigate the security breach and restore impacted systems.

“The attack is causing a temporary disruption to some of our computer systems and services. We are working diligently with third party forensic specialists, that we engaged last evening, to investigate the source of this incident, confirm its impact on our systems, and to restore full functionality to the system as soon as possible,” reads a post published by the Scranton School District on Facebook they wrote.  

“Scranton School District’s computer system was recently hacked and infected with ransomware, according to acting Superintendent Patrick Laffey.” reported The Time Tribune.

The district ordered school staff not to use any electronic devices and uninstall any school-related apps from their mobile devices, said Rosemary Boland, president of the Scranton Federation of Teachers.

“As you know, some files may be inaccessible during this period as we, and the third-party forensic specialists, continue the investigation. Due to the increased security measures placed in our systems, some functions may be slower than usual.”

The Scranton School District website is not reachable and their Facebook account is not available at the time of this writing.

The Scranton School District is a large, urban school district located in Scranton, Pennsylvania in the Wyoming Valley region. The district encompasses approximately 26 square miles. According to the 2020 census, the Scranton School District serves a resident population of 76,997.

The school district includes 15 schools and serves more than 9000 students.

The Scranton School District reported “network-related issues” on Thursday, the problems caused a disruption for computer systems and services in the District. The issues caused the school district to delay classes by two hours on Thursday.

“We are working diligently to investigate this matter with the assistance of third-party forensic specialists and intend to restore full functionality to our affected systems as quickly and securely as possible,” according to a statement from the Acting Superintendent Patrick Laffey. “We have significant resources devoted to this process and our work to resolve this issue is ongoing.”

“We asked people to cooperate anyway they can,” Boland said. “The sooner we get to the bottom of this the better, and we can get on with our lives.”

The schools normally operated on Friday, but students completed their tasks using pencil and paper instead of their Chromebooks.

The school district has yet to share details about the ransomware attack, it’s unclear if who is the ransomware family that targeted the organization and if the schools suffered a data breach.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Scranton School District)

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