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cyberattack

Baltimore County (Md.) district resumes classes after ransomware attack forced schools to close

Dec. 3, 2020
The attack shut down classes in the 115,000-student district for a week.

The public school system in Baltimore County, Md., resumed online lessons Wednesday after a “catastrophic’ ransomware attack took down classes a week ago.

The Baltimore Sun reports that classes have resumed as school district officials begin to deal with the ransomware attack that has apparently frozen its network.

School officials won’t say what is going on behind the scenes, but they have called in law enforcement, including the FBI, which has expertise in handling cyber crimes.

Earlier: The Baltimore County will remain shut down Monday and Tuesday as officials respond to a ransomware attack that hit its network systems last week.

The cyberattack closed school Wednesday for the district's 115,000 students, all of whom are attending classes entirely online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Closing the schools "provides much-needed time for our staff to continue working to set up the instructional platform and to communicate next steps regarding devices,” the district says.

Despite the attack, district-issued Chromebooks and Google accounts are safe to use and were not affected by the attack.

However, Windows-based devices should still not be used, the district says, as it further investigates the attack.

Student meals will be available for pickup at no cost at more than 300 locations as usual, including all middle and high schools.

Local officials have released little information about this week’s cyberattack, except to say that the county police department is working with the FBI and the state’s Emergency Management Agency.

The district says the attack had affected many parts of its network.

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