The LockBit ransomware group, known as one of the most prolific cybercrime organizations globally, has set its sights on West Oaks School in Leeds, England. This educational institution, which specializes in providing education for children with a variety of special needs, has become a victim of a ransomware attack. The attackers have demanded a ransom payment within two weeks, threatening to publish purportedly stolen data if their demands are not met.
Furthermore, West Oaks School, catering to pupils aged 2 to 19 with diverse conditions including severe learning difficulties and autistic spectrum conditions, was listed on the LockBit gang’s darknet site with an ultimatum. As the school is currently on its summer break, details of the attack’s impact remain unclear.
However, the incident has prompted concerns about potential data theft and disruptions.
At the same time, this incident highlights the concerning rise of ransomware attacks targeting educational institutions. West Oaks School is the latest in a string of UK schools facing such threats, prompting warnings from cyber authorities.
While the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reports improved preparedness among educational institutions, the persistent targeting of schools emphasizes the need for enhanced cybersecurity measures and swift response strategies. As ransomware groups like LockBit exploit vulnerabilities, educational institutions must remain vigilant in safeguarding their data and operations.