December 2, 2023

A faculty district in Virginia has managed to maintain school rooms open regardless of dealing with an assault from a infamous Russian ransomware gang.

Fauquier County Public Colleges runs 20 elementary, center and excessive faculties for greater than 11,200 college students. The county is about an hour from Washington D.C.

A spokesperson for the district confirmed to Recorded Future Information that it suffered a ransomware assault on September 12 and “instantly engaged cybersecurity specialists and notified the suitable legislation enforcement companies.”

“Upon studying of this, we took fast motion to start an inner investigation and created an incident response staff that features a number of the nation’s main cybersecurity specialists. Happily, the affect was minimal and we have now been absolutely operational,” they mentioned.

“Presently we don’t consider that any private scholar or workers data has been compromised. We’re grateful to our lecturers and workers who’ve remained targeted on the schooling of our college students.”

The LockBit ransomware gang mentioned on Sunday that it was behind the assault, giving the college district till October 19 to pay an undisclosed ransom for an unknown quantity of knowledge. The college district didn’t reply to requests for remark about what data might have been taken or whether or not a ransom can be paid.

Because the college 12 months started, dozens of Ok-12 faculties and universities have confronted assaults by ransomware gangs.

Ransomware teams have made some extent of concentrating on faculties originally and the tip of college years, hoping that the stress of opening day, closing exams and graduations will power faculties into paying exorbitant ransoms.

Prince George’s County Public Colleges — about an hour and a half away from Fauquier County — suffered its personal assault on August 15 which introduced down the colleges’ electronic mail and cellphone traces.

Over the past two months, ransomware gangs have added dozens of Ok-12 faculties to their leak websites, a continuation of a pattern final college 12 months, when faculties in Minnesota, Iowa, West Virginia, California, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Arizona, Massachusetts and extra handled outages in addition to the theft of delicate scholar and worker information.

Whereas some have confronted days-long shutdowns, others have been in a position to keep away from being grievously affected by assaults.

Most prolific ransomware teams as of September 2023.

The LockBit ransomware gang continues to function with close to impunity, remaining probably the most prolific attackers at present working. The gang crippled a significant hospital community in New York, a metropolis in France and {an electrical} group run by the federal government of Montreal all within the final month.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a Breaking Information Reporter at Recorded Future Information. Jonathan has labored throughout the globe as a journalist since 2014. Earlier than transferring again to New York Metropolis, he labored for information retailers in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He beforehand lined cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.