Judson ISD Communication Systems Restored; Effects Of Ransomware Attack Far From Over | #malware | #ransomware

After a month without access, employees of the Judson Independent School District can once again answer district phones and read district emails. However, many unanswered questions remain about the ransomware attack that cut Judson off from its information technology systems June 17.

“We are so happy to be able to reconnect with our families and community through our normal communication lines,” said a brief update released on Judson’s website July 19.

TPR contacted Judson Superintendent Jeanette Ball to find out more about how communication was restored.

In an email responding to the request, Ball said it would likely be months before the full impact of the cyber attack was known.

“There is still a very long process to find out what if any information was taken and to determine whose and what information. We are working with a third party to help us with that process, but they shared it could be months from now,” she said.

Ball declined to confirm whether Judson paid a ransom to regain access to their communication channels, as reported by the San Antonio Report. Instead, she said she would consult with an attorney to see if she can provide any details about the settlement discussed during a board of trustees closed session in late June.

“Legally I cannot share what is discussed in a closed session at a board meeting,” Ball wrote. “But as I stated before I will gladly discuss the payment issue with our attorney.”

Ball also said the district is using a new email system and lost access to emails sent before the attack.

“Once we have more details on what happened, how it happened and who and what was affected we will share,” she added.

Ball said the district hired outside experts to conduct a forensic investigation, but it will likely be months before the audit is complete.

Judson is San Antonio’s fourth largest school district, with about 24,000 students. School districts and other government entities in the United States have come under increasing threat from cybersecurity risks like ransomware attacks in recent years.

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