Hostile Actor Locks Out Public School Network Demanding 500 BitCoin Ransom
A hostile actor locked users and technical support staff out of the computer network at a New Jersey public school demanding a 500 BitCoin ransom to remove the lock out. The Swedesboro-Woolwich School District has had to cancel graduation readiness exams and faculty is unable to use basic services like email. According to Superintendent Terry Van Zoeren, “There’s basically no tech service happening in Swedesboro-Woolwich right now,” he said. “Essentially our network has been taken over and has been made non-operational. We are operating as if it’s about 1981 again.”
500 BitCoin is about $126,295 and this digital extortion has drawn the attention of the FBI and Homeland Security. Student and employee data does not appear to be compromised and the investigators have not named any suspects. Support staff has been working over time since the breach and infection was discovered Saturday, March 21st.