First Pandemic, Now Ransomware: Attack Forces Hartford to Postpone School

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Hartford, where the school district shares technology resources with the city government, spent about $500,000 upgrading its security system last year, Mr. Bronin said on Tuesday. He added he believed that investment helped the city successfully respond to this attack.

Hartford officials first learned of the ransomware attack on Saturday, when they discovered that more than 200 of the city’s servers, including some used by the school system, the police department and 911 dispatchers, had been compromised.

Mr. Bronin said that while Hartford, the state’s capital and its fourth most-populous city, had been the target of hacking attempts in the past, the ransomware attack was “the most extensive and significant” of recent years.

The city was able to quickly shut down servers and freeze its technology systems, Mr. Bronin said. The city’s police, fire and 911 systems continued to run smoothly, and the authorities did not believe any sensitive data had been stolen. Hartford did not have to pay a ransom to regain access to its servers.

But over the weekend, many of the servers and technology systems needed to be restored and rebooted, a process that took a considerable amount of time and was still ongoing as of Tuesday morning, Mr. Bronin said.

Among the impacted systems were the school district’s student information system, which has personal data, academic records and schedules, and a transportation system that provides real-time information about school bus routes.

Dr. Torres-Rodriguez, the Hartford schools superintendent, said that the student information system had been fully restored by midnight on Tuesday, after a seven-hour rebooting process. But at around 4:30 a.m., the transportation system had not yet been fully repaired.

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