Broken Arrow Schools Recovering From Ransomware Attack
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - Broken Arrow Public Schools said they are recovering faster than expected after their network and servers were hit by ransomware.
The district said Thursday they have contacted the FBI and that cyber security experts are working to try and fix the issue. An investigation is underway to try and figure out who sent the ransomware.
On Friday, Public Relations Director Charlie Hannema said the criminal attack did not affect the school's backup system. The district said often criminals will first target the backup servers before hitting the main network, but in this case the criminals couldn't gain access to them. That means, according to the district, they did not lose any vital information.
They are restoring data using the backup system, and it is proceeding more quickly than expected.
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They don't expect the attack to delay schedule pickup, bus route information availability or the first day of school.
School officials said they’re not aware of any personal data or financial information that has been leaked and said they have no plans to pay the ransom. They're working with security experts to make sure it doesn't happen again.
The school system issued the following statement August 1:
Broken Arrow Public Schools has recently been experiencing network and server issues which are believed to be caused by criminal actors attempting to disrupt the operations of our district.
Immediately upon becoming aware of the issues, we began taking steps to investigate the situation and notified our cyber insurance carrier. The Board of Education voted to enter into agreements with leading cybersecurity experts to assist us with the investigation and recovery efforts and to enhance the security of our digital environment.
The experts have confirmed we have been the victim of a ransomware attack. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid. We have no plans to pay the ransom.
Broken Arrow Public Schools places the utmost importance on our network and system security, and district technology experts have been working diligently with vendors to restore normal operations as soon as possible. At this time, we are not aware of any unauthorized disclosure of student personal data or financial information.
We have also notified the FBI of this incident and will provide whatever cooperation is necessary to hold the wrongdoers accountable.
We appreciate your patience during this period.
The school year is still scheduled to start on Wednesday, Aug. 21. (Pre-K Aug. 23). Schedule pickups for students will be held as planned. Bus route information will be available on Aug. 16.