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November 16, 2017

Ransomware: A Growing Concern for Schools

Businesses and consumers aren’t the only ones being targeted by ransomware, a highly dangerous form of malware that hijacks personal files for ransom. Now, cybercriminals are stooping even lower by targeting an unlikely demographic: high school students.

A new strand of ransomware, called J. Sterling Ransomware, has been found targeting students at the J. Sterling Morton school district in Cicero, Illinois. Hackers are disguising the ransomware in  fake surveys, and sending them to students. While the ransomware appears to still be in development, the surveys look real and even include the school’s logos, colors and slogans. The ransomware asks students to pay $10 USD in Bitcoins to unlock their files.

This is a frightening development, as high school students are especially vulnerable to cybercrime. As such, school districts need to start taking cybersecurity very seriously. After all, ransomware is a huge problem and one that is getting worse by the day. Just recently, for instance, Europol director Rob Wainright said that ransomware attacks now number as many as 4,000 per day. And new variations are constantly emerging, which makes it hard to combat.

School administrators should therefore consider taking active measures to protect against cyberthreats like ransomware. Cybersecurity training, for instance, is a strategy that is commonly used by businesses to educate their workers. It has also been proven to be very useful for school administrators, faculty, students and even parents.

School systems can also outsource cybersecurity assistance to third party managed providers like Apex Technology Services, offering rapid response cybersecurity and threat mitigation services.

To learn more about Apex, click here


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