Cyberattack Shuts Baltimore Schools for Two Days

The Baltimore County Public Schools system was shut down by a ransomware attack that hit all its network systems, Fox News reports.

The school system tweeted Saturday that there will be no classes Monday and Tuesday for the 115,000 students attending classes entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This provides much-needed time for our staff to continue working to set up the instructional platform and to communicate next steps regarding devices,” BCPS said of the two-day hiatus.

 

The school district’s remote learning program, its website, and its email and grading systems all fell under cyberattack last week, WBAL-TV reported.

According to The Baltimore Sun, a state audit released a day before the attack found the school system network was not adequately secured, and sensitive personal information was not properly safeguarded, among other problems, the Office of Legislative Audits found.

Officials discovered the breach late Tuesday night and notified staff early Wednesday.

“We are at the end of a marking period. I know other staff are concerned. They’ve been on during the evenings, doing grading, report cards. There’s that additional concern,” said Elena Lomicky, a Baltimore County kindergarten teacher.

Lomicky knew something was wrong when her school’s principal told staff not to log into their computers.

“There was a little panic because I’m not tech-savvy at all,” the Villa Cresta Elementary School teacher told WBAL. “It was alarming.”

BCPS is working with the Baltimore County Police Department in the criminal investigation.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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