Brute Force Attack on School District Leaves Student Data Unreadable

2019, Breaches, February

Who: Mount Zion School District

# of Records: None lost — just made unreadable

When it Occurred: February 4, 2019

What Happened: Foreign hackers targeted the Mount Zion schools computer system in an attack that resulted in 19 days’ worth of grades being wiped out across the district. The hackers encrypted several servers, making them unusable

How it Happened: The hackers used a sophisticated computer program to institute a brute force attack against the school’s network, attempting to gain access. The attack has no connection with anyone local. Although the hackers were able to gain access to the system, they were unable to actually see the data due to the school’s software.

Outcome: The district has taken precautions to test vulnerability and prevent future breaches. The district has worked with vendors to rebuild the affected servers and to restore lost data. We have been able to recover most of the data through backups and hard copies