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Cyber attack in New Mexico targeting public schools is latest in multiple ransomware hits

Election Security Ransomware
Posted at 8:49 AM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 09:49:13-05

Around 75,000 New Mexico schoolchildren on Friday will miss school for the second day after a cyber attack hit the state's largest school district on Wednesday.

At least five other school districts have suffered costly cyber attacks in the past two years, according to insurance officials who cover school losses. Schools in Las Cruces, New Mexico were digitally crippled for months after an attack in 2019.

One target of the attacks was aimed at the school's student information database, the same target of the attack against Albuquerque Public Schools, which was discovered on Wednesday as teachers prepared for class. But, despite that Las Cruces didn't cancel class, and decided to move record keeping duties like attendance to paper records.

According to CNN, another ransomware attack hit computers in Bernalillo County, home to Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico. Residents were not able to file mortgages because of the attack, the New Mexico Association of Realtors reported.

The FBI office in Albuquerque are investigating and told CNN in a statement, "At this time, it does not appear the APS [Albuquerque Public Schools] and Bernalillo County cyber incidents are related."

The Albuquerque Journal reported that the Bernalillo County has not provided an estimate on when it could have computer systems back in full operation.