Today, literally a day after a security audit stated that the security for the Baltimore County Public Schools computer network was so much Swiss cheese, they were hit with a massive ransomeware attack.
My wife works as a special education consultant, primary in Baltimore county, and her meeting today was cancelled, and it looks like BCPS may not sort out this cluster-f%$# until the new year.
I’m not entirely sure how to fix this, but I think that relying more on internal expertise, as opposed to over-paid consultants, would be a good start:
Baltimore County’s school system was shut down by a ransomware attack that hit all its network systems and closed school for 115,000 students Wednesday.
While little has been made public about the extent of the attack, school officials said at an afternoon news conference outside the county school headquarters in Towson that they are working closely with state and federal law enforcement and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to investigate.
Superintendent Darryl Williams said he has no timeline for when school will resume. School officials said the network issue has affected the district’s website, email system and grading system. Until the problem is resolved, students will have no school.
The attack comes as the school system continues to operate online only, with all in-person classes delayed, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The school system stopped communicating to staff and parents by email and began using Twitter and robocalls to inform its community about the attack. The district is advising all students, parents and teachers not to turn on their school laptops, and some students have taken any county applications off their phones as a precaution.
Baltimore County’s network is the conduit for grades, lesson plans, and communication between teachers and students and parents. Unlike some other school systems in the region, Baltimore County began giving students devices more than a decade ago.
It’s unclear when the attack started, but the school board meeting video stream abruptly cut out late Tuesday evening. And according to social media accounts, school system teachers began noticing problems about 11:30 p.m. as they were entering grades.
It actually knocked the virtual BCPS school board meeting that was held last night.
What a mess.