South Redford Schools closed again after cyber attack

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Redford — The South Redford School District on Wednesday canceled classes for a second straight day after its computer system was infiltrated, just weeks after federal officials warned that hackers are ramping up attacks against schools across the country.

South Redford officials announced the closure in a post to the district's website, warning employees to avoid using communication devices issued by the district.

"At this time, Cyber Forensic teams are advising the District to remain closed for (Wednesday)," the bulletin said. "Student and staff data security continues to be a top priority for the South Redford School District. Cyber Forensics teams are diligently working to (restore) our systems to normal operations."

South Redford Schools officials posted a notice to the district's website that classes would be cancelled due to a cyber attack

The announcement added: "This is a time intensive process and one that we continue to take seriously. At this time, we are still asking people to not use District issued devices. District emails can be accessed through not District issued devices."

The closure comes after a warning from federal officials earlier this month that a gang of hackers plans to ramp up cyber attacks on schools nationwide.

Three federal agencies — the FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center — released a joint "Cybersecurity Advisory" to warn that a gang known as Vice Society has been "disproportionately targeting the education sector with ransomware attacks."

"Over the past several years, the education sector, especially kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) institutions, have been a frequent target of ransomware attack," the federal advisory said.

"Impacts from these attacks have ranged from restricted access to networks and data, delayed exams, canceled school days, and unauthorized access to and theft of personal information regarding students and staff."

The advisory said federal authorities "anticipate attacks may increase as the 2022/2023 school year begins and criminal ransomware groups perceive opportunities for successful attacks."

Since the school year began for most school districts earlier this month, hackers have reportedly attacked computer systems in districts nationwide, including in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest district in the United States

South Redford Schools officials said in the district's post that a team is working to get the system back up and running as quickly as possible.

"We appreciate the patience and understanding of our community as we navigate this difficult situation," the post said. "This is a time intensive process and one that we continue to take seriously."

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