Classes delayed for Richmond School District after ransomware attack

Students attending Richmond Community Schools will have a few more days off for the holidays as the district works to maneuver a ransomware attack that hit school servers.

Posted to the school's website on Dec. 31, administrators notified parents that multiple servers within the district had been "attacked" by a computer virus. The ransomware attack impacted the school's operating systems, including the district's heating, telephones, copiers, and classroom technology. 

While no one enrolled or employed by the district had any personal information compromised, students were given Thursday and Friday off as officials didn't expect the system to be up and running in time for class to resume,

"District personnel and network server contractors have been working to resolve the problem. No student or staff information has been compromised. However, it is a very time-consuming process and is not expected to be completed by Thursday," said the release.

Ransomware attacks typically include a virus that can steal personal information from somebody and hold it hostage unless a ransom is paid. Sometimes, as was the case in a citywide ransomware attack on the city of Baltimore, information becomes blocked from being accessed.

During that case, hackers took most services offline and demanded 13 bitcoin in exchange for restored access. In the weeks that IT officials worked to recover information, data was lost and the city's real estate market suffered. 

Baltimore is the second major city to be attacked in a similar fashion.