Victor Central School District closed Monday to in-person classes due to malware attack

Victor Central School District closed Monday to in-person classes due to malware attack Photo: victorschools.com.

WHECTV
Updated: January 31, 2021 06:11 PM
Created: January 31, 2021 05:10 PM

VICTOR, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Victor Central School District will be closed to in-person classes Monday after a malware attack struck servers in the district.

According to an e-mail sent to parents and guardians of district students, the malware attack has caused all internet services in the district, including phones, to stop operating. No personal or financial information has been compromised, nor have student grades. However, the district does say that they may need to close for longer depending on the situation. 

The letter says that Monday will be treated as a snow day and that school principals will get in touch with the community Monday afternoon to share the next steps. 

According to the district's letter, the ransomware was detected on Saturday morning and an effort was done to take the network offline in order to prevent any further damage. The attack does not impact student-assigned Chromebooks, Google Classrooms, or Gmail accounts, only the district's Windows servers and files. 

The full letter from Victor Central Schools Superintendent Tim Terranova can be found below:

"Dear Parents/Guardians,  

We will need to close in-person school for tomorrow and potentially longer because of a malware attack on our servers that are located in our District.  No personal or financial information for students and staff has been compromised. In addition, student grades have not been compromised. Because of this malware attack all internet services, including phones, are not operating in the District.

This will be a professional learning day for faculty and staff. Faculty and staff will not report to school tomorrow however faculty will be working from home to support virtual learning if we are out longer than one day. We will treat tomorrow as a non-weather emergency day for students- just like a snow day. Transportation will be in place tomorrow for private and parochial students as well as out of district placed students with disabilities.  

Your child’s principal will be communicating with you tomorrow afternoon about next steps. Our goal will be to have students learning as soon as possible. We have plans in place for COVID related virtual learning, which is a big help with this particular situation.  This is a fluid process and we will continue to update you as we receive more information.  Please review the details of this situation below.  
 
The Victor Central Schools District’s network, which includes the District’s servers, which are housed on district property, experienced a Ransomware attack. Our Incident Response Team, in coordination with our partners at Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES  acted quickly to assess and mitigate the situation. 

At this time, we are able to share the following details: 

In the morning hours of Saturday, January 30, 2021, it was discovered that the District’s servers were compromised by an outside entity who imposed an encryption code which limited access to the servers. The Director of Technology immediately informed Superintendent Tim Terranova and Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES. Staff from BOCES immediately came on-site and moved quickly to take the District offline to prevent further damage. At this time there is no indication that student or staff data has been compromised.

In addition, the malware attack does not impact student assigned chromebooks, google classroom or Gmail as the attack was on the District’s windows servers and files.  

Please know that Victor Central Schools is committed to protecting and securing educational data. Our team has extensive training in data security and privacy, and our systems have many controls in place to protect your child’s educational records. Our team is working with a group of experts to review the incident and implement appropriate measures to protect against this type of incident from occurring in the future. 

Please contact us by email with any questions you may have regarding this incident and our response. 

Sincerely,

Tim"


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