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Ransomware attack delays the start of the new school year in Hartford

Students in Hartford, Connecticut, were expected to start the school year on Tuesday, but cybercriminals had other plans.

Ransomware attack delays the start of the new school year in Hartford
[Photo: Zan/Unsplash; Chris Ried/Unsplash]

Students in Hartford, Connecticut, were expected to start the school year Tuesday, but the semester was delayed after a ransomware attack struck city computers this weekend, the Hartford Courant reports.

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Other city agencies in the Connecticut capital were also affected, including police and fire departments, although they were still able to react to emergency calls, according to the newspaper. The malware urged officials to send an email to receive more information about the attack but, rather than do so, they opted to restore data to city systems.

The school system said the delay was caused by impacts on transportation systems used to link its computers with school bus providers.

Hartford is just the latest city in recent years to be struck by ransomware attacks: Atlanta, Baltimore, and New Orleans have all faced similar incidents in recent years.

Hartford’s mayor said recent security upgrades reduced the effectiveness of the attack. In the past, experts have urged state and local agencies to keep up with cybersecurity protections and staff training so that they’re ready for any unexpected hacks.

Officials said they’ll keep students and parents up to date on when the school year can start.

“Everyone at Hartford Public Schools was ready to welcome back our beautiful and capable students in person and remotely,” school officials said in a statement posted to Facebook. “We will provide updates when we have additional information to share.”

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About the author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist living in New Orleans.

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