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Hacking Attack Narrowly Misses Davenport, Iowa, School District

Officials with the Davenport Community School District reported that no information seemed to have been compromised when a hacker gained access to the computer system earlier this month.

(TNS) — Davenport Community School District said Thursday that a hacker gained access to the district's system earlier this month.

The district said there was no evidence that any personal information was compromised, and there was no ransom. It believes it thwarted a cyber attack.

The district originally told reporters that its servers were undergoing repairs, and that was causing Internet outages and phone and email problems that lasted more than a week. Some parents and teachers said they doubted the district's explanations at the time.

According to Superintendent TJ Schneckloth, the district could not release facts about the incident until now because of an ongoing forensic investigation conducted in the weeks following the initial Internet outage.

"In these instances, language matters. We take any threat to the district very seriously, and we want want to know exactly what we're dealing with first," he said. "We had to be 100% certain about what the threat to our system was."

The district also wanted to avoid revealing their efforts to potential threat actors.

"Oftentimes, if you begin to speak about something you don't know about, you're also relating what the threat is to the people potentially threatening you," Schneckloth said. "These threat actors have the potential to be watching at all times. So until you can identify what those issues are, you really have to only report what's there."

No perpetrator was identified.

"In these instances, it's very difficult to identify anyone," Schneckloth said. "When you look at what's happening with cyber attacks across the nation, the most important thing is the safety and security of your current environment. So that's exactly what we did."

The district's IT staff collaborated with national forensic experts to investigate the intrusion.

District IT staff took systems offline in light of the incident, but all have been restored. The district said it has "doubled their efforts" to prevent similar attacks in the future.

"We see this as an opportunity to learn and grow in our knowledge and preparation," Schneckloth said in a statement. "We remain diligent and on guard against any malicious actors which may arise in the future. I'm proud of our team, and thankful for the excellent work they've done to protect against this criminal attack."

©2022 Quad City Times, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.