Cyber agency issues attack alert over ransomware threat to education sector


© Dominic Lipinski

The UK’s cybersecurity agency has issued an alert to schools, colleges and universities about an increase in hacking attempts around the start of the new academic year.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned the education sector to be aware of ransomware attacks and urged organisations to follow their guidance on securing their networks.

The centre says it saw an increase in attempted cyber attacks on education establishments in August, often using ransomware which involves the encrypt of data by cybercriminals who then demand payment in exchange for recovery of the data.

The NCSC has encouraged institutions to take immediate steps such as ensuring all data is backed up and copies are stored offline to prevent data loss in the event of an attack.

As part of the issued alert, the NCSC says it has stepped up support for UK schools, colleges and universities, including

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Hartford delays first day of school due to ransomware virus

Hartford, Conn., public schools postponed the first day of classes Tuesday after a citywide ransomware attack.

The malicious attack infiltrated Hartford Public Schools’ critical systems, and those systems could not be completely restored in time for classes to begin on Tuesday.

“We have been informed by Metro Hartford Information Services (MHIS), our City of Hartford shared services team that manages our network infrastructure, that the ransomware virus caused an outage of critical systems and the restoration of those systems are not complete,” a notice from The Hartford Public Schools Team read.

The notice added that the attack also impacted the city’s system that communicates bus routes to the company that transports Hartford students, which prevented schools’ “ability to operate” on Tuesday.


Classes have been canceled for both in-person and online learning, according to local newspaper The Hartford Courant.

“Everyone at

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