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Hackers steal data from Fairfax County (Va.) district, post it on the internet

Oct. 12, 2020
The school system disclosed the theft in a letter to the community.

Hackers who launched a ransomware attack on the Fairfax County (Va.) district computer system last month obtained personal information about students and employees and posted it on the Internet, school district officials say.

The Washington Post reports that the district did not specify the nature of the data that was stolen or how much was taken.

Ransomware is software used to steal and then threaten publication of data or block access unless a ransom is paid.

“We deeply regret that this has occurred and are committed to supporting you,” Superintendent Scott Brabrand wrote in a letter to the community. “We are working around the clock to identify the information that was taken and will notify impacted individuals as appropriate.”

Brabrand said the criminal cyber organization known as the Maze group had claimed responsibility for the attack and posted the stolen information on the dark Web, parts of the Internet that require special software for access. He said that the district was working with Virginia State Police and the FBI to “bring the attackers to justice.”

School district spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell says the district will offer free credit-monitoring services to all district employees and their spouses and any others who were affected.

Caldwell declined to say how much the hackers had demanded from the district or whether that demand had been met.

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