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Guthrie Public Schools became victims of a ransomware attack


The Guthrie Public Schools was hit by a cyberattack on its system, according to Dr. Mike Simpson, the Superintendent. The officials of Guthrie Public Schools said that they became victims of cyberattack when someone has hit the district with ransomware virus.


Simpson told to KOCO 5 that he was made aware of this situation on Sep. 16, 2019. He said that as there were safeguards in place, so personal information was not compromised and sensitive information was not lost as a result of this hack. "When we caught it, it started to encrypt some local files, but our sensitive information is stored off site and by third-party vendors in order to keep it safe," said Simpson.


Although personal information was not compromised, the officials of Guthrie Public Schools said that two computers in district's tech office have been infected.


Simpson said that "one of our tech staff had gone in the office, logged into their computer and noticed something was different. We unhooked the affected computers and, when we shut down the network that's what essentially stopped the attack".


Simpson told to KOCO 5 the district is fortunate, that this situation did not turn out more worse. "If this had gone any further, I'm sure it would've been similar with what (Oklahoma City Public Schools) experienced, where they were seeking financial gain," said Simpson. He added that the safeguards they were having for such an incident were effective, but still they are now making certain changes to their system in order to avoid this kind of incident in the future.


To ensure another cyberattack does not happen again, Simpson also said that the officials of Guthrie Public Schools will require being more vigilant when it is about technology.


Guthrie Public Schools have also contacted Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services as well as Department of Homeland Security.


According to a recently published report by the cyber-security firm Armor, more than 500 US schools were hit by ransomware infections in between Jan. 2019 and Sep. 2019. The company has said that it found as well as tracked ransomware infections in 54 educational organizations such as the school districts and the colleges, which accounted for disruptions in over 500 schools.


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