San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) was infected by a malicious ransomware attack over the weekend. Ransomware is a type of malware that locks data with threats to perpetually block access unless a ransom is paid.
While SBCUSD computer servers are currently inaccessible due to the cyberattack, student data and related family data is secure. Almost all student and family data is hosted on a third-party platform with its own servers, and those servers were not impacted.
“It’s true that there are significant challenges to access the District network because the District systems are down,” said District Safety/Emergency Manager Eric Vetere. “However, student data has not been compromised.”
School phones and student meals are not impacted by the cyberattack. Telephone systems for the Transportation Department, which coordinates student busing services with Durham School Services, were briefly affected, but Durham transported students without interruption. Transportation phone systems are now up and running. Lighting and air conditioning systems are not directly impacted by the ransomware.
“We are committed to doing all we can to continue serving our families and to strengthening our systems so something like this doesn’t happen again,” Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden said.
SBCUSD is working with law enforcement and a third-party expert to restore the network. At this point, there is no estimated time for restoration of services. As part of the ongoing investigation, SBCUSD cannot disclose the ransom demands.
Families are encouraged to follow SBCUSD on Twitter @SB_CitySchools, on Instagram @sbcusd, and at www.facebook.com/SanBernardinoUSD for updates.