Police Chief Michael Goldman said the school system is lockdown and there is no ongoing criminal investigation. Goldman told WBZ-TV “It’s something likely to come from out of the country, we can’t trace it”.
The attack took place on April 14 and the district’s computer systems were completely lockdown impacting administrators, faculty, and students, according to a statement from Interim Superintendent of Schools Paula Deacon.
The school systems email also completely down, teachers and employees are using Gmail as a backup communication channel.
Goldman says that he recommended district school to pay the ransomware and there be some negotiations between hackers and the school.
Once the school agreed to pay ransom the attackers sent keys to decrypt certain files as a proof that they can decrypt files.
Deacon said in an Email to parents, “due to sophisticated hacking attack our email systems are down and we are well on our way to having access to our email and other systems restored.”
Leominster, School superintendent reveals that “the lock was placed on our system until a negotiated ransom was agreed upon. We paid through a bitcoin system and are now waiting to be fully restored.”
#Leominster School superintendent reveals their computer system fell victim to a #Ransomware cyber attack. “A lock was placed on our system until a negotiated ransom was agreed upon. We paid through a bitcoin system and are now awaiting to be fully restored.” #7News
— Kimberly Bookman (@KimberlyBookman) April 27, 2018
The police chief said the attacks are untraceable, undetectable due to the number of virtual private networks and fake accounts. He said the attackers have not extracted any data from the school systems.
Ransomware attacks become a turnkey business for some criminals and the cost of Ransomware attacks Crossed more than $1Billion in a single year alone.
Business should have a considerable Ransomware Checklist to respond with Ransomware attack and for mitigations.