This month, ransomware attacks are on the rise because schools are becoming the target. Like healthcare, hackers have realized schools have a lot of personal and sensitive information, such as names, date of birth, social security numbers and medical records. Healthcare records are worth 5 times more than the average record because it is more complete.

Schools Are Becoming The Target

This week, a school in Clark County Nevada was hit and refused to pay the ransom. The bad actors threatened to publish 25GB of data they claimed to have taken.  It was later discovered they published 100% of the documents, including names, date of birth and social security numbers of the current and past staff.  They published it on the web and on the dark web. The Clark County School District (CCSD) in Las Vegas reopened for in-person learning on August 24. It was attacked by hackers three days later in an incident first reported by the Wall Street Journal.  This is not the first school district to get hit.

What Happened?

On the morning of August 27, according to the statement, certain computer systems from CCSD became infected with a virus that prohibited access to certain files. The Wall Street Journal reports that hackers published documents containing Social Security numbers, student grades and other private information from CCSD students and staff after officials refused to pay a ransom in return for unlocking district computer servers. According to CCSD, the school district currently serves more than 320,000 students in Clark County, Nevada, and is the 5th largest school district in the United States.


How To Protect Your School

Because schools are becoming the target, we need to find a way to protect them. The first thing that needs to be done is education. You can build Fort Knox around a network but if someone clicks on something they shouldn’t, you’ll get hit. It’s important to educate users on phishing attacks and other ways hackers are trying to get into your network. Start with education and the IT department will take care of the rest.