Oxford School Computers Hacked With Ransomware

By Tish Clark | tclark@localmemphis.com

Published 02/09 2016 04:45PM

Updated 02/09 2016 10:20PM

The computer system at Oxford, Mississippi schools has been hacked.

The district is a victim of criminal crypto-ransomware, a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts access until a ransom is paid to unlock it.

The FBI is investigating along with Oxford police.

The cyber-attack has definitely slowed things down on all eight campuses. Investigators with Oxford police said this is the largest cyber-attack they have ever had to deal with.

Superintendent Brian Harvey said they are working to get it resolved because faculty, students, and staff cannot function without it.

"It's certainly something we haven't had to deal with before," Harvey said.

Harvey has a big battle ahead of him, only he does not know who he is battling.

An unknown hacker has hijacked the computer system at oxford schools.

"Someone is holding our data ransom and wants to extort money," Harvey said.

Harvey said that is not happening. The school district has a team of it techs working to fix it. In the meantime, daily operations haven't been very operable.

"The website wouldn't work. We couldn't connect to anything," Harvey said.

The attack known as ransomware is affecting students, too.

"Students…when they go to breakfast through the breakfast line or lunch line they are having to write their numbers down," Harvey said.

Harvey said it is a known fact that just about everything operates through the internet. From lunch lines to test taking, they need their system.

"All of that has been computerized for 15 years," Harvey said.

Harvey said he expects the entire system to be back on track in a couple of days.

School officials are also taking precautions in case this ever happens again. 

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