Huntsville City Schools: 'Third-party systems' with student information weren't compromised in cyber security attack

Huntsville City Schools provided an update Wednesday afternoon on a cyber security attack.

Posted: Dec 9, 2020 2:35 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2020 2:56 PM

Huntsville City Schools provided an update on Wednesday after a cyber security attack caused students to be out of class last week.

Students returned to classes on Monday and have been working on paper.

Teachers, students and parents have not had access to their school accounts since Monday, Nov. 30, and district computers and technology can't be used right now.

The district provided the following update on Wednesday: 

Dear HCS Families,

I am writing to provide you with an important update related to the district’s ongoing cybersecurity situation based on where we are with our process.

Our IT Team, in conjunction with our outside cybersecurity experts, has confirmed the third-party systems hosting student information were not compromised as part of this threat. These systems include iNow and PowerSchool.

Additionally, there is no evidence at this time to suggest that Chromebooks used by students in grades K-8 were impacted.

Our main area of focus is for Windows devices, which are used by high school students and teachers. As a precautionary measure, we are making plans to collect all high school student devices and replace all teacher devices. We will be working to re-issue high school student devices as quickly as possible. These plans will be communicated by each school.

While we are very pleased to share this update today, we remind our families that both our internal and external cybersecurity experts are working tirelessly to remedy the issue. I remind everyone that while we have made progress since last Monday when we first learned of the threat, this process is a marathon rather than a sprint and often takes months to complete to fidelity.

We thank you for your continued support, and I will continue to keep you informed of any updates.

Very respectfully,

Christie Finley
HCS Superintendent

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