Rockford Public School District implements new security after attack

Rockford Public School District implements a new security system after September ransomeware attack.
Rockford Public School District implements a new security system after September ransomeware attack.(WIFR)
Published: Feb. 11, 2020 at 6:16 PM CST
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The Rockford Public School District is implementing a new online security system after a September ransomeware attack.

In September, teachers and staff received an e-mail that appeared to look normal, however the opening of the e-mail triggered the attack.

RPS Director of Technology Jason Barthel said it was a process to recover.

"It took quite some time to rebuild those systems," said Barthel. "We ended up having to reimage about two thousand computers or so across the district."

The district has now implemented a two step authentication system with a security company called Duo. Each teacher will log in as normal entering their username and password. They will then be prompted to a screen to enter an approved code that was sent to them from Duo. Once they enter the code the computer will load as normal.

"We've bolstered our monitoring and our preventative and detective controls so we can be more proactive," said Barthel.

RPS Board President Ken Scrivano released the following statement to 23 News saying:

"Since the cyber attack in September of 2019 on RPS 205 information systems, the I.S. technical staff of the school district have been doing a terrific job of restoring all programs and systems, as well as developing a stronger protective system. The school board is extremely pleased with the efforts of all staff during this difficult challenge. We are assured that our number one priority of educating 29,000 students continues uninterrupted. Many strategies have been put in place including ongoing training on how staff can be alert to the threats of cyber criminals. The district’s efforts will continue on a daily basis to assure that our data remains safe and protected from these types of assaults."

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