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Two weeks before school, area district facing cyber attack

2 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Monday, July 29 2019 Jul 29, 2019 July 29, 2019 3:07 PM July 29, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

AMITE – The public school system here hopes it may be able to thwart an attempted attack on its IT infrastructure by shutting down email and phone lines Monday.

Sunday night, a potential cybersecurity issue was discovered on Tangipahoa Parish School System computer servers, the district reported.

The attack is similar to ones at school districts in northern Louisiana which prompted an emergency deceleration from state officials – likening software attacks to a natural disaster. Then, school systems were blocked from using phones and school databases on computer servers were encrypted, leaving officials locked out of important information.

“These cyber criminals target state and local government agencies, infecting their computer networks with malware or locking down the network for a ransom,” Superintendent Melissa Stilley said.

Stilley said her office has been on a heightened alert since the issues in another part of the state and worrisome activity was seen on the Tangipahoa school district network Sunday.

“As a precautionary measure, we have shut down the IP phone connections at all of our offices, including schools, Central Office, and our registration center so the team can mitigate any potential spread of the malware,” Stilley said.

Employees and students cannot access their TangiSchools email through the district website; however, email is still accessible on personal phones and other email readers.

Students start school in about two weeks.

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