Hackers took over the computer system of a Massachusetts, Leominster, United State’s Public School, earlier this April. The attack leaves the the who computer system crippled, and the whole email system unavailable to user.
In an facebook post from the School’s official account, it shows that the school acknowledge the email system is down:
According to the superintendent of the school, Paula Deacon, a lock was inplaced on the computer system and the hacker demanded ransom to be paid in Bitcoin so the lock can be lifted.
Negotiations between the school and the hackers at earlier stage had the hacker release some decryption keys to unlock part of the locked files as a show of proof. Commenting on the issue, Dean Mazzarella, the mayor of Leominster, said that the perpetrators were “smart.”
The mayor further added that the FBI was tracking the matter. The hacker was paid $10,000 USD worth of ransom payment in Bitcoin, roughly about 1,0927200 Bitcoin. The ransom will be taken from the city’s general fund.
Michael Goldman, the interim Leominster Police Chief who advised the school official to pay the ransom, state that the crime is impossible to track. He suspect that the hackers were from overseas. He stressed that the ransomware attack did not represent a theft of any data. The school district’s files were locked down, as well as the school’s email system, but no data was actually stolen.