Computer

WOLCOTT, CT (WFSB) -- For the second time this year, the Wolcott School district is the victim of a cyber-attack, leaving teachers and students unable to use the district’s computer network.

The Wolcott Police Department and the FBI are investigating the hacks as the district tries to go about business as usual.

School officials told Channel 3 they are not paying the $10,000 ransom to the hackers in order to retrieve the information.

In June, hackers demanded thousands of dollars in bitcoin currency in order for them to release data held hostage, which included teacher lesson plans.

Superintendent Anthony Gasper addressed the school’s efforts to get their computer network back online. It remains offline since hackers broke into the system.

“We know that once we recover from this attack that the threat remains as present as ever, we can and will however do everything that we can to reduce and contain the risk of an attack in the future,” said Superintendent Gasper.

The district was first hacked in June and then again in September. It is not clear if the attacks came from the same hackers. The district did not pay any money to release the information. Meanwhile, Police Chief Ed Stephens said paying ransom is not the answer.

“You basically have to start from scratch,” said Chief Stephens.

“What these ransom people want is you to pay a ransom to get all your files back but then again is there any guarantee you’re going to get them back? Plus, they can come after you again.”

The school has resorted to doing things more the ‘old-fashioned’ way.

“Our only communication to the teachers is through the phone system if you need to get a hold of your child, you are directed to call the school directly and then they internally get the message to your child. Email is nonexistent,” said Wolcott father, David Maisto.

Maisto said he hopes the district can beef up their security, but he said the hack has been an ‘eye-opener.’

“It’s unbelievable a small little town like Wolcott and it’s happening right here in front of us.”

An internal IT Firm is working to retrieve data. The district said it is committed to making the school’s cyber security stronger than ever.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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