How Ransomware Is Causing Chaos in American Schools

May 19, 2021 was supposed to be just another day at the end of the school year at Sierra College, a community college in Rocklin, California. Instead, hackers hit the school with ransomware, throwing it into chaos.

“We are experiencing a major cybersecurity event this morning that is impacting the majority of services at Sierra College,” Tom Benton, the school’s chief technology officer, wrote in an email to all staff, which Motherboard obtained through a Freedom of Information request. “Several people are reporting ransomware screens on their computer screens to encrypt data. If the message is seen on a computer screen please unplug the computer from the network and do not use the system until further notice.

”Sierra College was just one of 1,043 schools and colleges—part of 62 school districts and the campuses of 26 colleges and universities—hit by ransomware hackers in 2021, according to Emsisoft, a cybersecurity company that tracks ransomware incidents. The company reports that, so far in 2022, there have been 27 districts with 1,735 schools hit with ransomware.

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Source: VICE