Ransomware attack on Cloquet School District

The Minnesota based Cloquet School District database was reportedly hit by a ransomware attack early this month. And it’s said that the school administration decided not to bow down to the hackers and instead recreate the data lost due to the encrypting malware.

As per the sources reporting to Cybersecurity Insiders, the said public school district which houses K-12 sections with a student-teacher ratio of 17:1 was hit by a malware attack on August 8th of 2018. And TJ Smith, the Technology Director of the Cloquet School District called in an emergency board meeting on August 13th, 2018 to discuss the issue.

The administrative staffs were left with only two options- either to bow down to the demands of the hacker or to recover data and get the investigation done through a Cybersecurity firm.

After much discussion, the board members along with the administrative staff chose not to pay the hackers and decided to recreate data by rebuilding the servers.

Smith released a public statement on the issue yesterday stating the staff advocated to go for the second option as the lost data was not so important and the whole of the IT assets of the school was covered by a cyber insurance policy which will help in paying for the recovery of the servers.

A cybersecurity firm is yet to find out the source from where the malware entered. But the firms prima facie has ruled out the indulgence of state-funded hackers in the incident.

Smith is sure that the technical staff will be able to rebuild the servers by the start of September this year- which opens up the next academic year 2018-2019.

Note- Cloquet School District was hit by a similar cyber incident in March 2016 where the ransomware attack impacted the daily operations of the school for one full day. However, the technology staffs were quick enough to recover the data from the malware with the help of an excellent data continuity plan.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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