When Cyber-Hackers Attack, School Districts Are Paying the Ransom

Data security, student privacy, employee records at risk

From Georgia to California, school districts are facing a growing security threat: hackers. They target everything from employee payroll accounts to student records, and demand ransom in exchange for not taking advantage of sensitive information. Tawnell Hobbs of The Wall Street Journal discovered that school districts are surprisingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. And many are opting to pay the ransom and not reporting the crime to authorities. Is your school district a target? Listen in as she discusses what’s known about who’s doing the hacking and the FBI’s stance towards districts who negotiate with hackers instead of reporting them to authorities. What is the potential long-term harm to students if their personal information is compromised? And how has this trend turned into a big-profit boon for cyber-security experts? Hobbs also offers story suggestions and key questions to ask for local reporters covering school network security.

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