A ransomware attack forced the closure Tuesday of four public schools serving 1,700 students on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, the school district’s superintendent said in an email to parents.
The hacking incident shut down all student and staff devices, as well as safety and security systems at Nantucket Public Schools, forcing an early dismissal at noon on Tuesday, Superintendent Elizabeth Hallett said in the email, which she shared with CNN.
The news came as Tucson Unified School District (TUSD), which calls itself the largest pre-K-12 school district in southern Arizona, also suffered a ransomware attack in recent days, according to local news reports. Representatives of TUSD did not respond to emails seeking comment. There was no evidence that the two incidents were related.
There have already been five ransomware attacks on US school districts in January, according to a tally from Brett Callow, threat analysts at cybersecurity firm Emsisoft. Forty-five US school districts operating 1,981 schools were hit by ransomware in 2022, according to Emsisoft.