A Massachusetts school district was waiting on Friday for its computer systems to be unlocked after it paid a ten thousand dollar bitcoin ransom to hackers following a cyberattack on its system. Despite the malcious nature of the school system’s lockdown there is no criminal investigation into the matter because solving this crime is “impossible,” said the Leominster Police Chief Michael Goldman.
The police chief said he was not told what types of school district files were locked. Rather he said that no data was mined and it was a matter of decryption. The school’s e-mail system was also down, and the school employees were using their Gmail accounts as a backup to communicate with each another.
Superintendent Paula Deacon said in a statement that the bitcoin ransom was paid following the cyberattack, which occurred April 13. The school district was waiting for its system “to be fully restored,” she was quoted as saying.
“The Leominster Public Schools were the victim of a Ransomware attack on April 12, 2018, A lock was placed on our system until a negotiated ransom was agreed upon. We paid through a bitcoin system and are now waiting to be restored.”
Paula Deacon asked around for advice on the matter and they told her to pay the hefty ransom. Michael Goldman said there were some negotiations between the district and the hackers, and when the school system agreed to pay the ransom they were sent passwords to unlock certain files, as proof that the cyber extortionists could in fact unlock the files.
Michael Goldman said it is “virtually impossible” to track the cyber extortionists down.
In her statement, Paula Deacon thanked the local, state as well as federal authorities for their support in the matter.