Last week, the school complex Fairfax County Public Schools of Virginia reported being ransomware attacked. Apparently, the Maze gang is behind the attack, after posting one file with stolen data at its leak site. Prior to this attack, other targeted ransomware attacks had taken place schools in Toledo, Ohio and Clark County.
The Maze gang has taken responsibility for these too attacks and has threatened to expose the stolen files if ransom is not paid.
Last week, another ransomware took place attack in Hartford, Connecticut, which delayed the start of the new academic year.
Katie Nickels, executive at the security company Red Canary, stated that the attacks ransomware vs. educational systems are common. However, ransomware attacks at the beginning of a new school year, which is based on online lessons, cause many problems.
"I'm so angry with these ransomware carriers", he said. "Schools are trying to get back to normal. Teachers and students already face several challenges".
Nickels also wrote on Twitter that there is "special place in hell for ransomware carriers attacking hospitals or schools".
According to Nickels, schools are "Easy target" for ransomware operators, especially now that the education is basically done remotely. Now, hackers have more opportunities to attack. Red Canary said ransomware operators could benefit from distance education, as video conferencing platforms As the Zoom and Microsoft Teams, are used by students and educators who were not previously familiar with all of this technology.
In accordance with Ransomware Attacks Map of StateScoop, at least 129 schools have been targeted since 2013. Nickels believes that ransomware attacks on schools will not stop soon. The hackers they are constantly evolving their methods and the authorities must be prepared to arrest the criminals.
"I'm trying to think of a way to put an end to this", he said. "Stopping cyber attacks is a huge challenge. We need the cooperation of law enforcement authorities around the world".
"There are no real international laws or rules about what is acceptable in cyberspace, but I feel there should be", Said Nickels.
As we read in StateScoop, the opening of schools has attracted their interest hackers. "This shows us that the attackers are taking advantage of every opportunity they have", He added. "They will use it to make money. It is very annoying to see ransomware attacks in schools right now".