Over the weekend, the Tucson Unified School District was hit by computer hackers who are now holding its data hostage. On Monday, Jan. 30, it forced schools to do work offline.
Early Monday, staff across the district found a letter in their printers. The letter said the system was hit by Royal ransomware and the district’s data was allegedly encrypted and copied.
13 News showed this letter to an expert, and he said this was an issue that’s being seen more often.
“The group itself that had sent this letter has actually been around about a year and they’ve been ramping up a lot of their activity in the United States,” said Andy Taylor, CEO of TechTalk Radio.
A ransomware attack like this one could’ve spread through TUSD’s system by someone simply clicking on an untrustworthy link, according to Taylor.
The hackers claimed the district’s data has been allegedly copied and can be published online, where anyone will be able to see it.
“There’s always the chance that this information can end up in the wrong hand,” Taylor said. “Now, in the case of Royal and the ransomware, most of the time they’re just looking for a quick payout. They’re hoping that someone will pay them the money and of course, decrypt that info. That’s what happens in a ransomware attack.”