Malware, ransomware and viruses infecting schools K-12.

Florida School District Hit With Outrageous Ransom Demands

Broward County Public Schools was hit with possibly the largest ransom demand to date on a school system. The hackers demanded a $40 million payday to not release student and teacher information. District officials said they are confident they caught the breach in time. They say no information was accessed.

In a statement released Wednesday night, the district outlined its action. “Upon learning of this incident, BCPS secured its network and commenced an internal investigation.” The release stated, “A cyber security firm was engaged to assist. BCPS is approaching this incident with the utmost seriousness and is focused on securely restoring the affected systems as soon as possible, as well as enhancing the security of its systems.”

Ransoms Rising

Earlier this month, computer giant, Acer, was hit with the largest ransom demand in history. The $50 million price tag was high even for a company that reported over a billion dollars in sales. Typically, tech companies or large corporations are the ones that see the heftiest amounts.

It’s surprising to say the least. Ransomware attacks are more frequent and more expensive, however those price tags are usually relative to revenue. The $40 million is astronomical, especially for a county school system.

But this is indicative of what we’re going to continue to see. Ransomware is a business, and business is booming.

But Do You Pay?

It’s unclear whether or not Broward County paid the ransom. It appears, however, that they aren’t going to give in to the demands. They referred to the attack as a “service disruption” and, as mentioned, they say they caught it in time. Hopefully for those whose information is stored in those cyber halls, the district’s confidence is merited.

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