MIDDLESEX COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – The superintendent for Middlesex County Public Schools confirmed Thursday that the school division was the subject of a recent ransomware attack.
“We can confirm that Middlesex County Public Schools recently suffered a ransomware attack,” said Superintendent Dr. Tracy Seitz in a statement to 10 On Your Side. “We took immediate action to begin an internal investigation, creating an incident response team led by our talented IT professionals along with some of the country’s leading experts in cybersecurity. Fortunately, the impact on our daily operations has been minimal.
The cybersecurity organization BetterCyber said earlier Thursday that the Akira ransomware group claimed to have hacked the Middlesex County Public Schools website, allegedly stealing 543 GB of its data.
“We have been working with law enforcement, including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other leading agencies – and are providing information that will hopefully prevent other schools from dealing with this issue in the future. In order not to interfere with any current law enforcement efforts, we cannot provide any further information.”
Middlesex County Public Schools employs 121 instructional staff and 64 support staff, and has 1,220 students in elementary, middle and high school, according to the division’s website. Middlesex County is on the Middle Peninsula north of Gloucester.
Last month, Franklin County Public Schools were victims of a ransomware attack, and it closed schools May 15 as a team worked to address the issue. That school division said it did not pay a ransom and that it did not have evidence that any personal identifying information was shared.