Flagstaff Unified School District has canceled classes at all of its schools Thursday, September 5 after officials discovered powerful malware in its servers Wednesday morning.
School officials called the hack a "ransomware attack" when the issue was found Wednesday. At this point, though, much is still unknown about the cyber intrusion, according to FUSD spokesman Zachery Fountain. Ransomware typically denotes a payment in exchange for access to locked computers.
District officials took down the internet services at all school sites at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday following the discovery of the malware during routine operations.
“We have had to break connection from internet to our school sites while we work with internet security experts to contain and mitigate the issue," Fountain said. "There is a number of [FUSD] systems that run off of internet connectivity and we want to ensure the safety and privacy of our students.”
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He said the district cannot yet conclude if any personal, identifiable information was compromised.
FACTS, childcare centers, FUSD preschools and all after-school activities have also been canceled. Students attending Camp Colton will remain at camp as scheduled.
FUSD employees on nine-month contracts, including teachers, will not report to work. However, employees on 10-, 11- and 12-month contracts are still asked to report to work as normal, an FUSD press release stated.
FUSD officials and third-party cybersecurity experts will be working overnight Wednesday to address the problem and will release additional updates regarding Friday’s schedule when information becomes available.