New Jersey Livingston School District Hit With Ransomware


Students in New Jersey’s Livingston Public School district will be happy with tomorrow’s two-hour delayed opening. Unfortunately, this delay is not triggered by snow, but by a ransomware attack, from which the district only recovers.

According to an email sent to parents on Friday and accessed, a ransomware attack in New Jersey school district occurred on 21 November 2019.

“As you know, we have had our servers down since yesterday, and today we had an external security company to do a full assessment of our system. Based on what they found, we can now confirm that our servers were hacked by an external entity, infected with Ransomware, which is meant to encrypt the data.We trust that this agency is NOT related to the Livingston Community or the Livingston Public Schools, “clarified the email for the district families.

The school district has notified law enforcement authorities and works with a security company to investigate the attack and evaluate their networks.

It was not revealed how attackers had access to the network of the district or the type of ransomware with which they were infected.

The district reports that most programs in the school are running, but its regular telephone system and its Genesis Parent Access Portal are still not available.

Stolen data should be taken into account

The school district of Livingston also tried to reassure parents that the information from the school were not stolen.

“Our understanding is that these criminals do not typically steal data, but rather render the systems unusable”

While it is true that ransomware operators and affiliates usually do not meet their threats to release data, this may change.

Just last Thursday, the maze Ransomware operators released 10 percent of the information that Allied Universal stolen when they didn’t pay the ransom. They state that if no increased ransom payment is made they will release the remaining information.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.