The problem with relying on massive connected networks is that the minute it goes down, all other computers and devices connected to it are affected as well, and will not be able to access it and the information stored on it. Now it looks like this is what Baltimore County Public Schools are facing as they have been hit with a ransomware attack.
This attack has essentially knocked their internal networks offline, rendering them inaccessible which includes things like online grading and school email. In a time like this where more students are studying remotely and require access to the network to access their educational materials, this certainly seems like bad timing (or perfect timing for the hackers).
Speaking to WJZ-TV, the school system was quoted as saying, “We are aware that BCPS has been the victim of a ransomware attack. Our Office of Information Technology is working closely with them to offer technical assistance and guidance.” They have also advised teachers to leave their computers off for now, and that students and families at home should stop using their BCPS devices for the time-being.
This is not the first time we’ve seen ransomware attacks affect entire systems. In the past, we have come across stories of how hospitals have been targeted by similar attacks, and that in one instance, a patient was reported to have died as a result of the attack where the doctors were forced to send the patient to a different hospital located far away despite them requiring life-saving treatment.