Thousands of US school websites inaccessible after ransomware attack

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FinalSight, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider used by thousands of K-12 school districts and universities in the US, has suffered a ransomware attack that has disabled many of its services , and made thousands of school websites inaccessible for days. ,

Earlier this week several school sites became previously unreachable, but the company did not immediately confirm that it was vulnerable to ransomware. Instead, it notified schools of some “performance issues” affecting many of its services, such as Group Manager, Constitution Manager, Login, Form Manager (outdated), Registration Manager, Directory Elements, Athletics Manager, Calendar Managers, even with schools. prevented from sending emergency notifications to parents,

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But now, three days after the initial alert, FinalSight has apologized for the glitch and confirmed that it was the target of a ransomware attack:

Ransomware disrupts many services

“While we have made progress overnight to get all websites up and running, the full restoration has taken us longer than anticipated,” reads today’s status update. “On Tuesday, January 4, our team identified the presence of ransomware on some systems in our environment.”

According to the status update, the ransomware has been “contained,” and an investigation is underway in conjunction with a third-party forensics expert.

FinalSight has yet to reveal which ransomware group is behind the attack, what malware it used to compromise the network, what the ransom demands are, or whether it plans to pay. Given the standard practices of ransomware groups these days, it’s safe to assume that a company’s sensitive data has been stolen and will be published online until demand is met.

Schools aren’t exactly affluent, but most of them have cyber insurance to cover expenses, and ransomware operators know it, Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow told BleepingComputer.

“Last year, 87 incidents disrupted education in 1,043 individual schools. In 2020, 84 incidents disrupted education in 1,681 schools. The fact that the average size of affected districts has decreased, this budget size and ) may indicate a relationship between the security level.”

He concluded, “The bigger the district, the bigger the security budget and the better the security.”

  • You might also want to check out our list of the best antivirus products right now

Via: Bleeping Computer

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