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Souderton Area School District became victim of a ransomware attack


Just few days after start of the new 2019-20 school year, computers of the Souderton Area School District was hit by a cyber attack. Dr. Frank Gallagher, the Superintendent of Schools, says that computer network of the district was hit by malware attack on Sep. 1, 2019, after the students returned to class just a week before. This recent cyber attack on the network of Souderton Area School District was because of ransomware, the officials of school has confirmed in the statement that was issued on Sep. 9, 2019.


Ransomware is a malware type that locks down some files on servers or the computers, and then prohibits any kind of access to them until the victims make ransom payment.


Immediately after the district came to know about the attack, it has shut down district-wide computer network as well as disabled all the Internet connections in order to prevent any more damage.


In a statement, the district has said that "the safety of students and staff is our highest priority". The officials also said that this incident might lead to certain inconvenience right now as they are recovering critical systems as well as restoring service. However, there has been no threat to safety of data of the students, parents, or the staff. It has been added that every possible effort has been made for recovering and restoring the services. The district has further said in the statement that "parents should also be reassured that systems containing financial information are housed off-site and have not been affected".


The source of this attack remains unclear till now. The district officials have been working with FBI, the Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, and one local cyber-security firm so as to address this situation.


The school officials don't foresee any kind of interruption to school calendar due to this attack. Meanwhile, the students were told to shut-off the school-issued devices as well as return those devices to their school immediately.


"We appreciate your continued patience and flexibility and will communicate with you and update the district Web site as information becomes available," the update that was signed by Gallagher, said.


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