Malware, Ransomware

The Rockford files: Ransomware disrupts Illinois school district’s systems

Rockford Public Schools District 250 in Rockford, Ill., last week was struck by a ransomware attack that has disrupted the operations of its electronic and digital systems.

In an update via Twitter yesterday, the district reported that the Sept. 6 infection affected its website, internet connectivity, IT systems, phone lines, student information systems (which track attendance and store student records), intercom system and bell system. With phone systems operating only intermittently, the district has been rerouting down phone lines as needed.

"We have field experts helping our IT team evaluate the impact of this outage," the latest update states. "We are working to get a complete picture of this incident and understand any impact to our data. We will provide additional updates and information when they're available."

In the meantime, district schools and offices remain open. Faculty members are adjusting their lesson plans and are taking attendance and tracking student data by hand.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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