It was recently reported that multiple schools in the UK were hit by a ransomware attack, leaving around 37,000 pupils unable to access their email.
Indeed, the cyberattack was centered on the Harris Federation, which runs 50 primary and secondary academies in and around London. Shortly after the attack, the federation stated that it had disabled the emailing system, as well as any devices given to the pupils, in order to deal with the damages. However, it was found out the data on the systems had been encrypted and hidden by the attackers.
A cyberattack of this kind is not really a surprise as many industries and companies all over the UK, including universities, were targetted for the past few months by hackers and schools were warned by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) last week that they might be next.
The Harris Federation declared that they were the fourth multi-academy trust to have been targeted in March and that this sophisticated attack will have a significant impact on its academies. But they need time to discover all the details about the attacks and how to resolve them.
We do not know yet what information or data has been compromised by the hackers but the federation is said to be working with a specialised firm of cyber-technology consultants as well as the National Crime Agency and the NCSC.
This growing wave of cyberattacks seems to target many large organizations in order to get ransoms. However, schools and universities remain an odd target, a fact that cyberattacks do not seem to take into account.