Montgomery County School District hit with cyberattack

Pennsylvania

SOUDERTON, Pa. (WHTM) – A Montgomery County school district says it is working to recover from a ransomware attack after schoolyear had recently begun.

The Souderton Area School District says the Sept. 1 attack is still causing some disruptions to the technology systems in the district.

The district did note that because “financial systems are stored off-site,” “financial information remains secure.”

The district said right after the computer network was shut down and Internet connections disabled “to prevent further damage.”

Superintendent Frank Gallagher said Monday that the district is working with federal Homeland Security, FBI, and Secret Service officials, local authorities and “a specialized cybersecurity firm.”

“Our priority is to remediate the disruption and encryption caused by the ransomware and to restore the district and its services to normal operations as soon as possible,” Gallagher said.

These kinds of attacks have been increasingly popular as state-operated buildings are not always the most updated in terms of software security.

Ransomware software is used to encrypt or “lock-up” files on computers or servers with the goal of making them inaccessible.

Cyberattackers aim to hold systems hostage so local governments can’t operate until they pay a ransom — they are called “denial of service” attacks.

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