Logansport schools investigating network hack

Cyber forensics experts are investigating how hackers took control of a school corporation's network.

Posted: Apr 27, 2021 2:06 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2021 6:08 PM

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) — Cyber forensics experts are investigating how hackers took control of a school corporation's network.

Logansport Community School Corp. Supt. Michele Starkey says hackers accessed some information and held it for ransom.

Starkey says hackers on April 11 shut down the internet and phone systems in every building in the Logansport school system, forcing the corporation to move to e-learning the next day.

A team of experts is still in-house investigating the issue.

"We have some people on site and working virtually still evaluating every single thing and area to help us pinpoint how and where they got in to our system," Starkey says.

The team was hired by the corporation's cyber security insurance provider. Experts are trying to find out how the hackers got in, what they took and if the network is vulnerable to future attacks.

Starkey says the hackers encrypted some information and asked for 13 Bitcoin in return for the decryption tool. The corporation's tech team took back control of the network and the information without paying the ransom.

But a "ransomware negotiator" is still in talks with the hackers, although Starkey couldn't say why.

"We're working through the process and we do not believe that any secured information was gotten into or compromised," she says. 

Starkey believes the compromised information was old school board minutes and student assignments. She says students, parents and employees were asked to change their passwords as a precaution.

The corporation reported the hack to Indiana State Police. It's still under investigation by an ISP unit that handles computer and internet crimes.

Police believe the cyber attack likely originated in a foreign country.

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