Massena school servers back to normal after cyber attack

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Jul. 10—MASSENA — The Massena Central School District's servers are nearly 100% back online following a June 22 cyber security attack on the system.

"Our IT staff discovered on June 22 that there was a cyber security incident in the district and it caused disruption to our network and certain systems," Superintendent Patrick Brady told board of education members Wednesday night.

Information Technology Director Michael Allen said they experienced the attack around midnight and brought in third-party forensics experts to investigate. Federal law enforcement officials were also notified.

To protect the integrity of the system, access to the platform and surrounding environment was immediately disabled. He said they were able to assess the damage and preserve some data.

"Since the current investigation, we were one of many organizations recently hit," Mr. Allen said.

In the district's case, he said they were able to get the system backed up and running on Wednesday afternoon.

Board member Kevin Perretta wondered if there was any anticipated loss in any of the impacted desktops.

"I would say yes, there's going to be a handful," Mr. Allen said.

He said approximately 600 machines will need to be checked, and so far they had lost 16 to 18 machines because of the attack.

Mr. Perretta asked if the attack had impacted documents and other items.

"There could be. We expect to get most of the items that are on the desktops and laptops up and running. We won't know the full extent until teachers get on their computers and start accessing their materials," Mr. Brady said.

He said they were fortunate that the attack happened at the end of the year when most of the instruction was over.

"That was much better than the start of the year because we did need to shut down the network and create a clean backup. Luckily Mike had some great backups and we were able to get back up. We know in talking to experts that it could have been a lot worse," he said.

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