HAVERHILL, Mass. (AP) — School was cancelled Thursday in Haverhill after the district said its computer system was hit with a ransomware attack.
Superintendent Margaret Marotta said in a statement that the district’s IT department recognized early Wednesday that something was wrong and shut down the network before a “large scale corruption of the system occurred.”
Marotta said the district is working with local police and federal homeland security officials but warned that it’s a “large task with many potential points of access which need to be checked” before the system returns to normal.
Ransomware is typically software that infects a computer and displays messages demanding a fee be paid in order to get your system working again, according to Kaspersky.com.
“While we are hopeful that school will resume on Friday, we are currently unable to confirm that school will be in session,” Marotta said.
In the meantime, she said, email and other school systems are down, and phone systems, which are tied to the computer networks, have been intermittent. The cancelled day will be considered a “snow day” and will be made up at the end of the school year in June, Marotta said.
The district had been transitioning away from remote and hybrid classes toward full-day, in-school classes this week. Second grade through fourth grade classes were set to return Thursday; younger students started earlier this week.
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