Cyber Attack Puts ISD Websites Offline

Cyber Attack Puts ISD Websites Offline

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - A ransomware attack on ESC Region 11 in Fort Worth caused some problems for two school districts in Wichita County.

    "The cyber attack that happened to our network encrypted some data in our systems and because of that, our IT staff took those systems offline," Lori Burton with ESC Region 11 said.

    Officials with Wichita Falls ISD and Iowa Park CISD said this caused their websites to essentially be inaccessible.

    "The website was down. So anytime you would try to go to our website it would just give an error message and say it couldn't load the page," Ashley Thomas, Communications Officer for WFISD said.

    Multiple systems within Region 11 were affected by the cyber attack.

    "Two of them are the School Wires Content Management Software, which is the website software that many of our school districts use. The other is the Destiny Library Management Software, and that's the software that automates library services for many of our campuses," Burton said.

    Both WFISD and Iowa Park CISD did not have any file lost or local systems corrupted.

     "It was just a slight inconvenience for a couple of days and just now having our website up. But thanks to social media we were still able to get news and information out to parents and the community," Thomas said.

    Officials at Region 11, WFISD and Iowa Park CISD said this ransomware attack began and was contained to only Region 11 servers in Fort Worth.

    "It was not anything that would have hurt your computer," Thomas said.

    ESC Region 11 hosts 130 school district websites statewide on its network and officials said all records should be secure.

    "We don't believe any student records, business records or employee records were compromised at all," Burton said.

    Region 11 IT staff have built new servers to house all recovered data. Wichita Falls ISD and Iowa Park CISD websites are back up and running.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

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