June 9, 2023

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FCPS: Ransomware attack technological know-how devices, FBI investigating

FCPS stated ransomware had been placed on their engineering techniques. They imagine they are the sufferer of ‘cyber criminals related to dozens of ransomware assaults.’

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Fairfax County Community Colleges verified Friday that some of their technology devices experienced been compromised by a ransomware assault, and that they were being doing work with the FBI to examine the incident. 

The university district sent a letter to the local community and staff members addressing the incident, stating they do not consider this was an isolated incident influencing Fairfax. 

“We at present imagine we could have been victimized by cyber criminals who have been related to dozens of ransomware assaults in other school devices and organizations around the globe,” an FCPS assertion explained. “We are coordinating with the FBI on the make any difference.”

The ransomware situation did not disrupt the length understanding software in the course of the to start with week of school, in accordance to a FCPS update produced above the weekend. 

At this time, the college district is not asking employees or students to make improvements to their equipment as a consequence of the breach.

Team and learners need to anticipate to be contacted individually if FCPS decides their laptop demands specialized attention. People are inspired to proceed employing their products for school-linked functions.

FCPS did not comment on what knowledge may possibly have been stolen, or irrespective of whether pupil/instructor info was compromised. 

“We have retained major safety specialists to assistance us identify the mother nature and scope of the incident and recuperate from the situation,” the statement stated. “FCPS is dedicated to guarding the facts of our college students, our team, and their families.”

FCPS is the biggest university district in our space — the10th most significant in the U.S. — with much more than 188,000 college students, all of whom are now taking part in digital finding out due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Fairfax County Federation of Lecturers claimed it was shocked to study of the security breach. 

“This is deeply alarming for our neighborhood and we urge FCPS to quickly solve the problem, acquire each and every action probable to maintain the basic safety of staff and scholar details and facts and continue to keep the FCPS local community informed of all developments,” FCFT president Tina Williams mentioned. 

The district has been clear about the complications they faced with distance finding out in March.  On their web site, they clarify how the 2020-2021 university yr will carry on employing their Blackboard process, and reported quite a few upgrades have currently taken spot in an attempt to keep away from it from crashing all over again.

The faculty procedure also partnered with Cox Communications to ensure just about every boy or girl has a MiFi system to give them obtain to the Internet at house. The district also explained they now have a Cloud Gateway technique allowing them the capability to drive protection updates remotely.

One particular of the biggest upgrades this college year is the Dad or mum Know-how Aid Desk, parents can simply call when they need support.  Like a lot of of us have at get the job done, there’s also a program wherever mothers and fathers can post a assistance desk ticket.

See the comprehensive letter sent to moms and dads and workers, below: 

Pricey FCPS Neighborhood and Personnel,

FCPS just lately discovered that ransomware was positioned on some of our technology methods. We are taking this make any difference pretty seriously and are performing diligently to tackle the situation. We at the moment think we could have been victimized by cyber criminals who have been connected to dozens of ransomware attacks in other university devices and companies globally. We are coordinating with the FBI on the subject.

At this time, our investigation of the concern is ongoing and we are working diligently to identify the affect of this incident on FCPS facts. We have retained top safety gurus to aid us establish the nature and scope of the incident and recover from the situation.

FCPS is fully commited to safeguarding the info of our pupils, our personnel, and their households. We will operate with regulation enforcement to the fullest extent to prosecute any men and women or teams that attack our techniques.

Fairfax County Public Schools 

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