Parts of TUSD carry on without Internet following cyber attack
TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – “School will continue,” says Margaret Chaney, president of the Tucson Education Association. “It lasted long before the Internet, and it will continue long after the Internet.”
Schools part of TUSD are without internet after a cyberattack hit the district’s network.
“I think it’s important to note that hackers are focusing on the easiest target,” explained Gary Brickhouse of CISO, Guidepoint Security.
And with thousands of people regularly accessing a school district’s network, cybercriminals often see schools as an easy target.
“If you look back over the last year, over 45 school districts were hit by ransomware,” Brickhouse continued.
According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, K-12 educational institutions have become a common target, thanks to the combination of network size and increased network usage by schools through the virtual learning.
“Unfortunately, we are in the age of hacking. We are not the first district to be hacked,” Chaney also continued.
Fortunately at TUSD, the students’ medical records were not impacted. Not all districts that come under attack are so lucky.
“We also saw a recent school hack that happened in the LA school district, these students lost information about their health,” Brickhouse said.
So how does a network with so many users avoid such a situation in the future?
“It’s really about educating employees on how to identify and avoid things like phishing emails,” Bickhouse said.
“If you have any doubts about something, don’t click on it,” Chaney added. “I don’t think people should be too scared of things any more than if they got hacked into Target or with their bank.”
In a statement, the district said it was working diligently to restore its systems, also stating that “protecting the security and privacy of personal information is of the utmost importance to the Tucson Unified School District.”
Heidi Alagha is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. Heidi spent 5 years as a morning anchor in Waco where she was named Best Anchor Team by the Texas Associated Press. Share your story ideas and important issues with Heidi by emailing heidi.al[email protected] or connecting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.