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All public schools in Franklin County, Virginia, were closed on Monday, May 15, owing to a cyberattack that is still affecting the education system. Classes on school grounds were canceled for security reasons while the extent of the cyberattack was determined. As a precaution, several internal school systems were also temporarily shut down.
According to Bernice Cobbs, administrator of the Franklin School District, “Franklin County Public Schools was the target of a ransom cyber incident, similar to numerous other institutions throughout the country.” “We started an internal inquiry as soon as the threat was identified, and we also hired outside specialists to aid in the recovery process. Fortunately, our team was able to stop the attack owing to their prompt reaction, Cobbs continued.
It is unknown when the attack was detected and neutralized, but the school district appears to have escaped with relatively few injuries because on Tuesday the pupils started back in their courses. Cobbs added that the FBI and the Virginia State Police are among the regional and federal law enforcement organizations that Franklin County Public Schools is actively collaborating with to better understand the specifics of the earlier attack.
Why exactly attackers are picking on educational facilities is a mystery. They typically do not save any extremely sensitive information, therefore extortionists will not gain anything from using blackmail with the eventual publishing of data in the public domain aside from wasted time for hacking.
It’s probable that the school system “fell into the hands” as a result of the extensive extortion attacks that have occurred in the US, the most well-known of which were those that occurred in Lowell, Dallas, and Oakland. Recently, Olympia Community Unit 16 schoolchildren in Illinois received a public apology from LockBit ransomware and a promise of a free decoder. Evidently, attacking educational institutions is frowned upon among hackers as well.