NJ school district says computer servers hacked by ransomware
LIVINGSTON — Township school officials said the district is facing a rough start to the Thanksgiving holiday-shortened week, due to a hack of the district's computer servers.
Livingston school superintendent Matthew Block said in a message on the district website the servers were "compromised" by ransomware, which encrypts data rendering it useless until payment is made to regain access.
"We are told that these issues can take weeks to resolve. Knowing this, we are working hard to make as much technology as possible available to our students, and are taking steps to ensure our daily operating logistics are as smooth as possible," Block said.
Block did not say if the school was paying a "ransom" to regain access to its files.
All schools will open two hours late on Monday, to allow for meetings to bring staff up to date on the situation. A meeting will also be held Monday night for parents at the Livingston High School auditorium at 7 p.m.
In Middlesex County, the Monroe school district dealt with a ransomware attack over the summer, as reported by the Board of Education at its August meeting.
NJ.com reported that the computer systems for Union County government and for municipal operations in Dover (Morris County) also were hacked this month.
On its Facebook page, the Town of Dover said its ransomware issues began on Nov. 9, during a long weekend for Veterans Day.
Union County shared less details about its situation on Nov. 13, as it posted about "network issues" to the county Facebook page, which it said were resolved by the following day.
Block said that internet will be available in every Livingston school on Monday and student email continues to work as normal. There also was no impact on the availability of college transcripts, Block said.
Staff will need to access their email in a different way and the "Schoology" social networking service and virtual learning program was expected to be usable by all students early in the week, according to Block.
"These events are troubling for all of us. The last two days have been a whirlwind for district personnel, all of whom have done an excellent job maintaining normalcy for our students. I work with an amazing group of professionals, and I am thankful to be part of the LPS Team," Block wrote.
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