The Rockville Center, N.Y. School District in Long Island had to pay $88,000 in cryptocurrency after hackers used the Ryuk ransomware to get access to the school’s data. According to local news reports, Ryuk ransomware infiltrated the two school’s server on 25th July. Initially, ransomware’s demand was $176,000, but when the school found a way to restore some of the data, the demand went down to $88,000.
School officials said that after evaluating the situation thoroughly they decided to pay $88,000 in bitcoin. The school made all possible efforts from their side to recover the data, but they did not get any success. Officials further added that school’s bitcoin ransom payment and its insurance’s $10,000 deductible was less expensive than the cost to recover from the attack without the decryption keys.
In the last six months, this was the third time when ransomware attacked a school in that area. The same virus also attacked the Mineola School District. But they ‘didn’t have to pay because they had a back up that ‘wasn’t compromised.
New York State Department of Education has sent a warning to all district schools in the state to be aware of potential cybersecurity incidents. One click on the wrong link can allow ransomware to get access to all the server’s data. Schools are working with cybersecurity experts to avoid these incidents in the future.