InfoSec / Cyber

coloured computer textm spelling Cyber Attack

Cyber Attack: Dorchester School

A Dorchester school has recently suffered a cyber attack in the form of a Ransomware attack.
Following the attack the school has been left unable to use email or accept payments.
The school is working with the National Cyber Security Centre and the police to resolve the issue. The full article can be read here:
he school remains open, with teaching adapted as needed and exams continuing as planned.

Comment from the headteacher:

A message from the headteacher, Nick Rutherford, to parents said:

“We are in liaison with our school Data Protection Officer and this data breach has been reported to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) in line with requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018/GDPR. Every action has been taken to minimise disruption and data loss.

“The school will be working with Wessex Multi-Academy Trust, IT team and other relevant third parties (Department for Education, National Cyber Security Centre and police) to restore functionality and normal working as soon as possible.

“I appreciate that this will cause some problems for parents/carers with regards to school communications and apologise for any inconvenience. Please use the telephone absence line to report student absence, as staff cannot currently receive emails. Please also telephone the school should you wish to report any concerns or speak to a member of staff."
Quote source:

Prof Alan Woodward, from the University of Surrey, has previously said schools are a "soft target". 

"IT is not their core business, they don't have big IT teams, and if they're all using standard software and a vulnerability is found in it, then the criminals will quite quickly realise that.

"The advice is never to pay. It sounds like a quick way out, but the prices are extortionate, and you're painting a big target on your back.

"Hackers sell what they call 'suckers lists' on the dark web, where they say 'these people will pay up', and often it can lead to further attacks," he added.

Data Protection Education are working with schools and trusts to build cyber resilience with data protection in mind:

View our Information & Cyber Security Best Practice Library for cyber help and guidance.

Download our Business Continuity Template.

What to do in the event of a cyber attack?

Tell someone!  Report to IT. Report to SLT. 

Unplug the computer from the internet by removing the ethernet cable or turning the Wi-Fi off.

If you are a victim of a ransomware attack we would recommend reporting this to Action Fraud: as well as your data protection officer so they can advise about the data loss.  Most cyber crimes like these will also need to be reported to the ICO by your data protection officer.

Isolate the infected device and pass to IT 

Always ensure there are backups you can restore from.

Little Guide to ACTION FRAUD