Ransomware ‘Crisis’ in US Schools: More Than 1,000 Hit So Far in 2019
Ransomware attacks have been targeting US school systems with 226 schools hit since October, compromising 11 different school districts in major cities such as New Orleans and Pensacola hit earlier this month. Data published by security firm Armor shows that a total of 72 US school districts have suffered from ransomware attacks since the beginning of 2019, affecting 1,040 schools to date. This information includes schools whose districts have publicly disclosed the attacks, leading Armor to believe that the total attack number may be much higher.
According to Armor’s findings, cities rank just behind municipalities when it comes to ransomware attacks. Healthcare organizations are the third most popular victim, with 44 reported cases this year. New Orleans was hit by ransomware late last week, and as of today, it is still operating on a manual basis due to its key services being crippled by the attack. The Mayor of New Orleans stated that there was no official ransom note and that the city had been preparing for an attack. Pensacola, also attacked earlier last week, allegedly faces a $1 million ransom demand as city officials are investigating how to handle the demand. Experts have analyzed information on both attacks and are suspect that Ryuk ransomware may have been utilized in the New Orleans attack, while Maze ransomware may have been used against Pensacola.