Campus Life Security, August 13, with comments by Saurabh Sharma.

School systems have recently become major targets for cyberattacks because of the multitude of personal information they have paired with improper security protection.

School campuses are an increasingly in the sites of cyber attackers, including those making ransom demands. Two districts were among those recently struck. One in Dothan, Alabama, Houston County, was held hostage by a malware attack where the hackers held data for ransom. The school had to move their first day of school out 5 days, from August 1 to August 5. Teachers’ computers may have been down even longer.

Louisiana had several school systems also hit by malware, prompting the governor to declare a statewide emergency.
Schools are vulnerable because they often have old systems and no dedicated security staff.

“Targeting schools for cyberattacks is not new, but what used to be viewed as a local problem – perhaps some smart kids hacking systems to change grades — has now become a lucrative business,” said Saurabh Sharma, vice president at Virsec.

“Ransomware attacks remain popular across multiple industries, but education is a particularly fat target. The combination of fairly sensitive data, aging systems, limited resources, lack of cybersecurity expertise, and relatively permissive policies make schools and universities low hanging fruit for hackers.”

Read full Why School Systems Have Become Major Targets for Cyberattackers article

Further Resources:

Blogs:

When Older Windows Systems Won’t Die
EternalBlue reaching new heights since WannaCry outbreak
It’s official: North Korea is behind Wannacry

White Paper: Deterministic Protection Against Memory-Based Cyber Attacks

2-minute Video: Virsec Overview: Protecting Against Advanced Cyberattacks