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Rochester Schools Confirm Ransomware Attack, Didn't Pay

Having already confirmed an unauthorized intrusion of its network, a Minnesota school district has further confirmed it was a ransomware attack, which it did not pay, and which compromised some employee data.

Ransomware attack, binary code
(TNS) — Rochester Public School on Thursday, May 4, confirmed a ransomware attack was the cause of its cybersecurity breach.

The school district released an update on the ongoing situation Thursday, May 4, just shy of a month since unusual activity was first noticed on its network.

"We have alerted the FBI, and we did not pay a ransom," the district said in a statement to families. "We could not disclose the ransomware until now so as to protect the integrity of our investigation."

As part of the same update, the district also confirmed that the information of some student employees was compromised in the attack. It clarified, however that it has no knowledge of the information being used for identity theft or financial fraud.

"We have determined that personal information belonging to some Rochester Public Schools employees was involved in the incident," the statement from the district said. "This includes a small number of students who are or were employed by RPS. As of now, we have no evidence that the personal information of any students who do not work for RPS was affected."

Superintendent Kent Pekel could not be immediately reached for further contact. However, on Tuesday, May 2, he briefly commented on the ongoing process to restore the situation.

"We still have a significant ways to go, but we're making progress," he said. "We have our student system restored. We have Google Suite restored. Some of the operational systems restored. You have to reboot everything from backup files, and sometimes that takes days."

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