Officials provide update on cyberattack that shut down South Redford Schools

REDFORD, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – South Redford School District officials said no data was breached during a cyberattack that closed schools for the second day in a row.

In an update released Wednesday afternoon, the district said the cyberattack was isolated before it could spread.

The district is just the latest that hackers have targeted.

It also comes on the heels of an FBI advisory, warning schools about an increase in cyber attacks

After warning teachers and students not to use school-issued devices, the district said chrome books can now be used, but windows based computers should still stay offline.

The district is working with cyber forensics teams on the issue.

“When you talk about schools, it’s very sensitive information,” said David Derigiotis cyber security expert from EmBroker. “You have all sorts of data on children, on minors. You have payroll information, health care information for teachers. It can be extraordinarily disruptive to the busing services, the meal plans.”

Derigiotis said there is no silver bullet to prevent getting hacked, but he said it’s important to train employees on how to avoid malicious emails, make sure systems and apps are updated, and to use multi-factor authentication.

“Security is all about layers,” he said.

As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, there is no word on if classes will resume Thursday. 

Read the district’s full update below:

This week South Redford School District was a victim of a malicious cyber-attack that has impacted the learning of our students. It is hard to believe that someone would deliberately try to disrupt our children’s education, but overnight our Cyber Forensics teams made great progress in resolving this attack and securing our systems. Using advanced internet security software, Cyber Forensic teams identified the cyber-attack that appears to have been isolated before it could be spread throughout the District; due in part to early detection, intervention, and proactive measures of the District to limit technology and network usage. At this time, the Cyber Forensic team have yet to identify any evidence of a data breach.

The District hopes to have additional updates for our community later this afternoon. In the meantime, Cyber Forensics teams are advising the District that student and staff-issued Chromebooks were not impacted by the cyber-attack and can be brought back into service at this time. Windows-based computers, issued by the District, should remain offline while Cyber Forensic teams continue to run advanced diagnostics and software on these systems.

Again, we appreciate the overwhelming support and patience from our community as we navigate this difficult situation. We look forward to an opportunity to put all of our time and energy back to where it belongs; educating the students of the South Redford School District.

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