December 15, 2017

Ransomware Attack Impacts Texas Students

Source: Pixabay

A growing number of school systems are now being targeted with ransomware — a devastating form of malware that hijacks files and holds them for ransom.

Just recently, it was revealed that hackers gained access to the personal data of students from 39 different school districts in Texas.

Sources indicate the incident started when a Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) employee’s state-issued laptop became infected with ransomware. Hackers may have gained access to the Social Security numbers, birth dates, home addresses and personal phone numbers of the students and their families.

Altogether, more than 700 students may have been impacted by the cyberattack.

Now there is a debate about whether all affected districts were notified, with some districts claiming that they never received proper notification. The TDA maintains that all parties were notified, but some email messages may have gone to spam or trash folders. The TDA also maintains that none of the data was misused in any way.

What's more, the TDA claimed that the infected data was more subject to malware than it should have been. 

"It's something that people all over the world are being affected by every day, and as a government agency we are surely not immune to such attacks," stated Mark Loeffer, Communications Director for the TDA. 



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