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Ava R-I School District hit with ransomware attack

Ava R-I School District hit with ransomware attack
  • Ava uses encrypted data, stores information on off-site servers, and has a good backup system, so the district's financial, employee and student information was not compromised.
  • The school Superintendent Dr. Jason Dial noted that they found some holes in their systems and are fixing them.

What’s the matter?

Ava R-I School District, MO suffered a ransomware attack, which forced the district to shut down its computer network.

The big picture

Ava Schools became aware of the attack after it noticed a ransom note on its district printers.

  • The ransom note asked the school district to send an email for a code and payment instructions.
  • Upon discovery, the school notified its staff and parents about the incident.

Ava School Superintendent Dr. Jason Dial told KY3 that they found some holes in their systems and are fixing them.

“It could have been a lot worse. We still got compromised. We found some holes. We're in the middle of fixing those. We knew some were there, that we were in the middle of fixing anyway. So we feel really comfortable about moving forward,” Dial said.

What actions are being taken?

Dial noted that Ava uses encrypted data, stores information on off-site servers, and has a good backup system, so the district's financial, employee and student information was not compromised.

  • The school district is currently restoring files and data from its backup.
  • The district staff has co-ordinated with a cybersecurity company to ensure that no important information was compromised in the attack.
  • Further, the school has decided to test its employees against phishing emails and provide training on how to identify deceiving emails.
  • It is to be noted that the district has a cyber-insurance policy that covers any loss due to ransomware attacks.

“We're going to start spoofing our own employees. Our technology department is going to send an email from an unknown address and see if they're opening that, to try and help train them to learn how to keep viruses off our network,” Dial said.

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