Ransomware attack targeting public schools in New Jersey forces cancellation of final exams
Administrators of the Tenafly Public Schools, Bergen County, New Jersey, that the cybersecurity issue detected Thursday morning is a ransomware infection that blocked access to some computers on its networks. This incident led to the cancellation of final exams for all high school students in the district, as Bergen County administrators keep trying to restore everything to normal.
Parents, students, and staff from schools in the school district were notified of the situation just a few hours ago, and have been receiving regular updates through The Tenafly Public Schools notification system, a structure independent of the affected systems.
So far, the ransomware variant used in this attack or the amount of the ransom demanded by cybercriminals is unknown. It is also not known whether local authorities plan to negotiate with the attackers or whether they will try to restore their systems on their own.
Unofficial sources had reported that the ransomware attack rendered dozens of computers useless in the county before which local authorities were being forced to pay a ransom in cryptocurrency.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey State Police’s CyberCrime Unit are already aware of the attack, and an investigation has been ordered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as Bergen authority believes this case is beyond its capabilities.
This is an increasingly common hacking variant. Just a few weeks ago, Somerset County suffered a cybersecurity breach that forced the temporary shutdown of all its electronic systems, while last year Hillsborough and Bernards Township school districts also had to disrupt their academic activities due to an encryption malware infection.
Feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites to learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities, and information technologies.