Chambersburg Area School District (CASD) recently confirmed that a ransomware attack has affected their computer systems. This information was disclosed on CASD’s official Facebook page, which also highlighted that all district schools would operate on their regular schedule on Friday, September 1st.
CASD’s disclosure indicated that they had been experiencing a network disruption compromising certain computer systems’ functionality. The root of this interruption was identified as a ransomware event. Ransomware is a malicious software type that denies access to a computer system or encrypts its data until a ransom is paid. Consequently, data becomes unusable and inaccessible for the victim.
The district has engaged third-party forensic specialists to understand the event’s depth and its ramifications on their systems. CASD noted, “The ongoing work of the third-party forensic specialists to investigate the event and its impact on our systems has been running in parallel with efforts to restore full, secure functionality to our environment.”
Appreciating the relentless efforts of CASD’s technical staff during this crisis is essential. Working tirelessly, they have been at the forefront to get this addressed as quickly as possible to get the schools back open.
In an opinion article posted yesterday by Nathan Neil speculated on such an incident, stating, “the system could have been impacted by ransomware, which locks all of the data down by a “bad actor.” This would render data unusable and inaccessible. “
Neil said, “Generally speaking, ransomware is like a digital lock put on your computer files by bad actors. Once they lock your files, they generally demand money for the key to unlock them. If you don’t pay, you can’t access your files. Sometimes, even if you pay, they won’t give you the key.”