With reports indicating most of the Buffalo Public School District’s internet systems are back online following Friday’s cybersecurity attack, students face another day at home Tuesday (3/16).

All Buffalo Public School District staff are expected to report to their respective sites tomorrow, and students will remain at home. Each school will send a message on Tuesday on when to log on for “office hours” to learn the new log-on process and participate in asynchronous learning.

There will be a full day of remote instruction on Wednesday.

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The district is working with cybersecurity experts and law enforcement to investigate the source of the criminal cybersecurity attack according to WIVB-TV.

"It’s very common for schools to be targeted," said Holly Hubert, founder of Amherst-based GlobalSecurityIQ.

According to the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center, nearly 350 cyberattacks on school districts were publicly reported in 2019, that's roughly three times more incidents than reported the year before.

School districts have become more vulnerable because they've had to fast-track new remote learning models due to the pandemic.

"They were trying to do the best they could to keep things moving, but obviously if you move too quick, you’re going to leave vulnerabilities that people can take advantage of," said Kyle Cavalieri, president of the Buffalo-based Avalon Cyber, which has offices in multiple states.

Information from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security says that more than half of reported ransomware attacks on state and local governments and schools in August and September involved schools less likely to have top-level cybersecurity.

Experts say that determining the length of time it will take for the Buffalo Public Schools to get back online depends on the district's backup measures and advance planning.

 

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