Athens Independent School District shortly known as Athens ISD has made it official that it will pay $50,000 to recover its data from the ransomware attack. The Texas based school district says that it cannot afford not to pay the ransom to the hackers as all sensitive data related to teacher communications, student schedules, grades and assignments related to the school were locked from access by the cyber crooks.
News is out that all the data related to the school district was encrypted in the ransomware attack that took place early this month. And school authorities have filed for an insurance claim to bail them out of this digital crisis.
“We can’t afford not to pay it”, says Alicea Elliott, the President of AISD Board as it would take many weeks to rebuild data from the scratch.
In response to some Facebook comments that paying a ransom will encourage crime, Athens ISD responded that the attackers have assured them they will not target the school district in future after they receive the payment….tough to believe such statements from hackers!
As the educational institution cannot afford to permanent loss of valuable records, the school hired an expertise from Region 10 Education Service Center to trade out the deal with hackers.
Note- As per the Nov’19 press release, FBI stated that paying a ransom to hackers will encourage crime and will make them demand more in exchange of the decryption key. However, in February 2020 the law enforcement agency stated that victimized organizations can choose to pay a ransom in case they do not have any other choice.