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Madison City Schools investigating cybersecurity threat

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Posted: May 3, 2021 4:53 PM

Madison City Schools said on Monday that it’s handling a cybersecurity threat.

An announcement from the superintendent said “I want to assure you that at this time we have no evidence that any of our data or personal information of any of our users has been compromised.”

It goes on to say “On the afternoon of Thursday, April 29th, one of our advanced threat protection systems alerted us to a potential cybersecurity breach. Our Technology team, along with our cybersecurity partners, immediately pulled critical systems offline to begin analyzing the threat.”

The district says after a full weekend, their belief is that it was an attempt to lock the system and hold it for ransom. Law enforcement agencies were made aware of the attempted breach.

The announcement says “While our websites were not affected in any way, the server that controls our access to our websites is down for additional maintenance. Therefore, our websites may be a day or two behind in providing our normal updates to you.”

You can read the full statement from Superintendent Ed Nichols below:

MCS Community,

I’d like to inform you of a cybersecurity threat we have been handling over the last several days. Before I go further, I want to assure you that at this time we have no evidence that any of our data or personal information of any of our users has been compromised. This data is your data, not just ours, so I felt it prudent to report this to you and where we currently stand in our efforts to protect your data and our network.

As always, I desire to be transparent with you all. If there has been any delay in my communication it is simply because we needed first to fully understand the nature of this attack and its potential reach and to notify appropriate authorities.

On the afternoon of Thursday, April 29th, one of our advanced threat protection systems alerted us to a potential cybersecurity breach. Our Technology team, along with our cybersecurity partners, immediately pulled critical systems offline to begin analyzing the threat. After a full weekend with all hands on deck, their belief is that it was an attempt to lock our system and hold it for ransom. The probe prompted our team to engage in a multitude of ongoing mitigation techniques to minimize the likelihood of success of the attack. Appropriate law enforcement agencies were alerted of this attempted breach, and we continue to consult with the proper authorities to ensure our safety.

While our websites were not affected in any way, the server that controls our access to our websites is down for additional maintenance. Therefore our websites may be a day or two behind in providing our normal updates to you.

In today’s world, no organization nor individual is completely safe from potential cyber threats. However, Madison City Schools has made cybersecurity one of its top priorities in recent years. We have dedicated the resources to ensure that we have the most protection possible in an event such as this.

Sincerely,

Ed Nichols

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