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Wakulla, Jackson county school districts investigate cyberattacks

Cyber Attack
Posted at 10:53 AM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 11:37:48-04

(WTXL) — Multiple agencies are investigating after hackers infiltrated two school district information systems in the Big Bend.

Tuesday morning, the Wakulla County School District announced that the district was "experiencing a disruption" in their information systems due to a ransomware incident. They say the incident began late last week.

"After discovering the attack, we immediately launched an investigation with the assistance of a leading forensic firm, and we have been working diligently to secure our systems and bring them back online," the district wrote on Facebook. "We also reported the incident to state and federal law enforcement authorities."

Wakulla County school officials say district email has been affected and is currently an unreliable way to communicate. Instead, they say that the best way to communicate is via phone call.

They say the ransomware attack aims to renders data inaccessible through encryption, then seeks payment to unlock it.

The announcement of the cyberattack comes on the heels of a similar announcement by the Jackson County School District on Monday morning.

"Access to some of the School District’s information systems is currently limited as a result of a virus we discovered late Friday afternoon," school officials wrote. "After discovering the virus, our IT Department immediately shut down the servers and network to prevent further infection and launched an investigation."

Both districts have enlisted the help of technology forensic firms to help in their investigations.

As of right now, it's unclear if the cyberattacks in both counties are related, though we are reaching out to state officials to find out.