By November 13, 2019 Read More →

Editorial: Ransomeware attack of Wood County Schools should make all West Virginia wary

From The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

As Wood County Schools continues to go school-by-school, computer-by-computer checking and repairing machines affected by a ransomware attack last week, local residents are getting a first-hand look at the way terrorists and criminals have shifted tactics in recent years.

In fact, more than 500 school systems across the country have been hit by ransomware attacks so far this year. According to the website “School News Network,” schools are a prime target.

“What you guys [school systems] hold is the ‘creme de la creme,’ which is records,” said Alex Brown with accounting and business advisory firm Plante Moran, during a training event in Michigan covered by “School News Network.”

Names, birthdays, addresses, social security numbers — and not much else, because the records belong to children — provide the perfect blank slate on which a false identity can be built. Add to that treasure trove the bonus of being able to cripple a government network (in the case of Wood County, state networks were immediately disconnected so as not to spread the effects of the attack), and you’ve got a nasty one-two punch. ..

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