Broward County Public Schools that is the sixth largest school district in United States was hit by a ransomware attack sometime last month. And sources say that those behind the spread of ransomware demanded $40 million or else threatened to wipe off the entire data on the servers.
School authorities of the largest Florida district say that they do not want to bow down to the demands of hackers as the previous negotiations failed. And are now busy recovering the data from a business continuity plan.
The Fort Lauderdale based educational institute that schools around 271,500 students confirmed that the digital disruption hasn’t impacted its online classes and no employee or student information was compromised.
Sources report that the IT staff of the school tried to negotiate the ransom payment with those who induced the Conti Ransomware into the school network. But the negotiations failed as the gang was changing its demands from time to time that made the school authorities look for other alternatives.
In recent months, the following public school districts were targeted by those spreading ransomware- Fairfax county, Virginia; Baltimore County in Maryland; Hartford, Connecticut and Fort Worth, Texas.
A research conducted by Emsisoft has confirmed that most of the attacks targeted on K-12 schools were in August and September- 57% as compared to those launched from January to July-28%.
In 2020, ransomware spreading gangs targeted around 1,681 schools, 400 colleges and 17 Universities. However, the count might vary as some attacks went off record as the authorities negotiated the deal with the hackers and recovered their data after paying a ransom.