Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), a school district in Baltimore County, Maryland has admitted that it canceled its online classes because of an apparent ransomware attack on its school computer network that impacted email, grading and some study material meant to be distributed among students.
Michael Dickerson, the Chief of Staff for Baltimore County Public Schools, has confirmed the incident and said that the IT staff of the said educational institute were working 24×7 to address and solve the issue.
BCPS official website has been pulled down because of the ransomware attack and the students and the teaching staff have been given a day off as the incident is yet to be resolved.
As of now, there is no information on whether the school district will pay a ransom to free up the database. But a technical staff has clarified that the school is planning to recover its data from backups, and so there is no question of backup.
Last year, Baltimore City Government was hit by a similar cyber attack disrupting utility services like blocking of water bill payments and other services to the populace. The same file encrypting malware was also held as the culprit in incidents that digitally disrupted many companies like Honda, Cognizant, Garmin, Canon, and Travelex.
Note- A ransomware is a kind of malware that encrypts data until a ransom is paid. And nowadays some ransomware spreading gangs are first stealing data and then encrypting the database, so they can sell that data for monetary benefits–in case, their ransom plan fails miserably.