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Opening Day for Hartford Public Schools Delayed After Ransomware Attack on Critical Network Systems

Alina BÎZGĂ

September 09, 2020

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Opening Day for Hartford Public Schools Delayed After Ransomware Attack on Critical Network Systems

The city of Hartford, Connecticut, was forced to delay the first day of school on Tuesday after a ransomware attack took down critical network systems, including the system that communicates transportation routes to the school bus operator.

“There will be no in-person or online learning on Tuesday, September 8,” Hartford Public Schools (HPS) said in a statement. “We have been informed by Metro Hartford Information Services (MHIS), our City of Hartford, shared services team that manages our network infrastructure, that the ransomware virus caused an outage of critical systems and the restoration of those systems are not complete. This includes the system that communicates our transportation routes to our bus company, and it is preventing our ability to operate schools on Tuesday.”

According to Hartford mayor, Luke Bronin, cybercriminals gained access to city systems last Thursday. In the first two days of the attack, the perps apparently only lingered on the networks before deploying ransomware on more than 200 of the 300 servers managed by the city officials.

“This ransomware attack was the most extensive and significant attack in the last five years in the city,” Bronin said. “The IT team worked through the weekend to access and restore the affected systems. Now the IT team is going system by system and server by server to restore the systems.”

The most recent update published by HPS announces that both online and in-person will resume on September 9, after (MHIS) managed to restore affected systems.

“Our bus transportation database is once again accessible, allowing us to share complex schedules with our bus company and schools, and to safely transport thousands of students in and around Hartford,” said Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Superintendent of HPS.

School officials emphasized that no student or employee data was access or stolen during the attack. The Hartford Police Department is also working alongside the FBI to track down the culprits

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