Hackers Target Private Computer Systems of Six Isle of Wight Schools in Ransomware Attack

Hackers target private computer systems of six Isle of Wight schools in crippling server ransomware attack, forcing site to postpone start of new term

  • Island Education Federation servers crippled by ransomware attack
  • At least one of the six affected Isle of Wight schools delayed the start of the school year
  • Attacks use a computer virus which, once downloaded, can encrypt data
  • Hackers compromised school computer systems between July 28 and July 29

The Pirates targeted the private computer systems of six Isle of Wight schools.

A so-called “ransomware” attack crippled the servers of the Island Education Federation.

Such attacks use a computer virus which, when downloaded, can encrypt data, with cybercriminals demanding money to restore systems.

At least one affected school delayed the start of the term and said it would take “months of work” to recreate all the lost information.

So-called ransomware attack crippled Island Education Federation servers, affecting six Isle of Wight schools (stock image)

Computer systems were compromised between July 28 and July 29 and affected three primary schools, two secondary schools and one high school.

A spokesperson for the group said: “We are working with officers from the police cybercrime unit to prosecute cybercriminals and understand the full impact of the attack.

“This obviously has important implications, which we manage and will take steps to make our systems even more secure in the future.”

In March, 37,000 students at Harris Federation academies in London were unable to access the emails. This was the fourth attack on school trusts this month.

Lanesend Primary (pictured), one of six affected schools, said students would return three days later than scheduled for the fall term due to the disruption

Lanesend Primary (pictured), one of six affected schools, said students would return three days later than scheduled for the fall term due to the disruption

It is not yet clear what data was encrypted in the latest attack, but personal data of students and staff – including registrations, addresses and dates of birth – is often stored on servers.

One of those affected, Lanesend Elementary, announced that students would return to class three days later than scheduled for the fall term due to the disruption.

A statement said, “After speaking to our service provider, we understand that the attack means that all of the information we have stored with it has been encrypted. This means that we cannot and will not be able to access it anymore.

“As you can imagine, the team now has hours, days and months of work ahead of them to recreate the information that was lost.

“In order to facilitate this laborious process, the administrators approved the closure of the school for an additional 3 days at the end of the summer vacation.”

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