Prince George’s Co. schools don’t have a cause for a cyberattack

Leaders with Prince George’s County Public Schools said they’re going through a forensic analysis to determine what caused the cyberattack involving thousands of accounts that was detected Monday morning.

“We’re still unpacking and investigating that and what may be the root cause. That’s going to take place in the coming days, if not weeks,” said Andrew Zuckerman, the Chief Information and Technology Officer for the school system.

Zuckerman said critical network systems have been restored and users were required to reset their passwords right away.

But he could not say just how much information may now be public.

“I think we’ve seen over the course of the last few years that attacks like this typically result in some level of data loss. We don’t know what that’s going to be,” Zuckerman said.

He said the school system’s technology team trains for cyberattacks and wants account users to not respond to suspicious emails, open links or share their personal information via email.

Around 4,500 of the school system’s 180,000 existing user accounts — less than 3% — were impacted by the incident, the Maryland school system said in a statement. Mostly, staff accounts were the ones affected.

Those impacted will be notified with more information.

“The school system is still assessing the full scope of this incident, but as of this time, the main business and student information systems — Oracle and SchoolMAX — do not appear to be impacted by this event,” the school system said.

The network experienced a temporary outage, but the school system said it was brought back online Monday night. Users will have to reset their passwords again on Tuesday, which the school system said is “out of an abundance of caution.”

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Sandra Jones

Sandra Jones is an Anchor/Reporter for WTOP. She’s been in the news industry for more than two decades.

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