Flagstaff Unified District's Schools Closed For Second Day Due To Cybersecurity Issue

Published: Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 5:19pm
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2019 - 1:48pm
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Flagstaff Unified School District's schools will be closed for a second day Friday as district officials work to resolve a cybersecurity issue.

District spokesman Zachary Fountain says officials discovered powerful malware involving a ransomware attack in the district's servers during routine operations Wednesday.

“So ransomware is where somebody tries to take over a certain type of software and essentially hold it hostage. That was the type of attack we were dealing with, and we were able to contain it to particular areas to ensure that it didn’t spread and lock us out of our own systems," Fountain said. 

Ransomware typically denotes a demand for payment in exchange for access to locked computers.

Fountain said the district had to sever school sites' internet connections.

District officials said it doesn't appear that any student's personal information was compromised.

They say progress has been made in securing critical systems, but work still needs to be done Friday and through the weekend so students can return to school Monday.

The district's childcare centers and preschools also were closed Thursday.

More than 9,600 students attend the 15 district's school sites.

The school district’s information technology team has partnered with a third-party tech team to eliminate the virus so schools can reopen.

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