“Lancaster Independent School District recently experienced a ransomware attack that has impacted the District’s operations. After learning of the incident, the District immediately took affirmative steps to contain the threat. In addition, outside cybersecurity experts have been engaged to assist with the District’s response and conduct an independent investigation. The District is diligently working to get systems back up and running as quickly and safely as possible. The District takes seriously its responsibility to protect the personal information it maintains and is continuing to enhance its existing security protocols.”
Officials with Lancaster Independent School District are now reviewing the district’s cybersecurity integrity after a hacking group posted information on the dark web regarding district employees, banking transactions, and other sensitive internal information. The district did not confirm if it had received a ransom demand. However, it released the following statement to WFAA Thursday night:
Board President Marion Hamilton told WFAA that the board hadn’t been briefed about the situation when she was contacted Thursday. A source close to WFAA shared files and posts made by the hacking group “Grief” on the dark web that revealed the district was one of its targets.
In a post, the group wrote that “The network of Lancaster Independent School District was screwed, and now we have about 9GB of data from file servers, including internal company documents, personal, and customer data.” Below the post, the group posted a sliver of what it said it had stolen. Some of it was innocuous, but then WFAA stumbled upon a district personnel sheet, including employee DOBs and SSNs.
That information is now available for cybercriminals to grab at any moment. There were also some banking statements, payment transactions, invoices from attorneys and other files belonging to the district. Brett Callow, a threat analyst with cybersecurity giant Emsisoft, said hackers usually throw out a small chunk of what they have when an entity they’re targeting isn’t cooperating.
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