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FBI works with Marion District on computer breach
by DJ Kauffman Correspondent · October 26th, 2017

On Monday, October 23, during a Marion Independent School District Board of Education Work Session, IT Coordinator James Huff offered board members an update on a recent district computer breach.

According to Huff, hackers recently infiltrated the district's Windows operating system with a virus, causing the system to shut down. A similar one happened during the same time last year, Huff said. The two seemingly coordinated attacks prompted the district to notify the Quad Cities' FBI field office about the incidences.

The district chose not to publicly release the information until now, in case it was a Ransomware attack which is a type of malicious software. As it's aptly named, this type threatens to publish the victim's data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid.

As soon as Huff learned of the problem, his team began disconnecting cables to break the connection and stop the virus from spreading. All of the servers have been rebuilt, except for the time clock, and 200 man-hours have been devoted so far on this. Huff stated another 30 to 40 hours are still needed as they are trying to restore the files.

In addition, Huff told the Board if he had been at a scheduled out-of-town conference, things would be far worse. "We should know by the end of the week what was lost," and most of the student data is on an off-site server.
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