NewsKansas City Public Safety


Park Hill School District confirms cyberattack source was ransomware

District did not pay to retrieve files
ransomware attack
Posted at 4:18 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 17:18:53-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Park Hill School District confirmed the source of a cyberattack last week was ransomware.

The district said the ransomware probably got into its systems when a student or staff member clicked on an “infected” link on a website or in an email.

Ransomware often encrypts files in a systems and attackers demand payment from the person or business to unlock their data.

Park Hill said it was able to recover on its own without paying the hackers because of the secure backups it had in place.

The district said its own investigation found there is no evidence the hackers gained access to any personal information, and the Secret Service and FBI agents it consulted confirmed this finding.

Park Hill conducts training on phishing scams with students and staff, a spokesperson said.

District members are allowed to access personal email accounts on Park Hill computers and that has not changed.

The district’s technology team continues recovery work and analysis of the attack, according to a district newsletter.

The team also is looking at ways to further secure the system.

Park Hill schools were closed two days last week as they worked to get systems functioning again.

The last day of school has not changed as a result and will remain on May 28, the newsletter said.

Park Hill staff will be paid for the days the district was closed.

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