Malicious Actor Encrypts Data and Request Ransom from Bridgeport Public Schools
Who: Bridgeport Public Schools
What was affected: District data encrypted and held for a ransom
When it happened: January 9, 2019
How it happened: Cyberattack originated from a virus dispatched by a malicious outsider encrypted district data to hold it hostage for a ransom.
Outcome: No evidence of any data theft in the attack although several teachers have lost access to lesson plans and teaching materials saved on work computers. The district’s IT department reportedly began taking steps to remedy the problem over the weekend, but the district declined to say how far along their IT team is in the recovery process. While they are unsure exactly how malicious actors gained access to the district’s system, teachers were instructed to change email passwords and warned not to bring personal computers to the office, generating speculation that the actors may have gained system access through a successful phishing attempt.