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Report: Dorchester District 2 suffers summer ransomware attack, no student or staff data compromised

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Mac users beware: Ransomware could be on your computer (copy)

A Dorchester District 2 data center suffered a ransomware attack over the summer, but no student or staff information was accessed or compromised, according to a report shared by the district on Wednesday.

The attack impacted 25 of the data center's 65 servers, the report said.

Ransomware is a type of computer virus that hijacks a computer's or system's files, blocking access until a sum of money is paid.

The district paid $2,900, funded through its insurance coverage, to get the data back, the report said. Data from 24 of the 25 servers was restored. Information on the remaining server was corrupted and is being re-entered from hard copies.

In addition, the district has contacted the families of 32 students for which 2016-2017 data was not available in hard copy form, the report said. That information is being gathered with the help of parents, teachers and staff.

During the investigation, district officials contacted the S.C. Department of Education's chief security officer, the State Law Enforcement Division and other law enforcement agencies, as well as attorneys for help with the situation, the report said. 

Officials approved a security assessment contract with a "technology solution company," the report said. The company has identified weaknesses in the system and is expected to make recommendations during a mid-September school board meeting on how to shore them up.

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

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