Federal investigation for cyber attack at Yazoo County School District

Updated: Oct. 17, 2020 at 8:02 AM CDT
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YAZOO CO., Miss. (WLBT) - A federal investigation is underway after the Yazoo County School District’s Information Technology (IT) system was hacked.

The school board has voted to pay a company $300,000 to fix the cyber issues.

Superintendent Dr. Ken Barron says they became aware of the cyber attack last Monday.

He did not specify which information was stolen or why the district decided to spend thousands to resolve the issue, saying it could jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

Classes are operating as planned.

Read the school’s statement below:

"Last week, the Yazoo County School District detected a potential cyber event impacting certain devices on our network. We took our IT systems offline to investigate and address. National cyber-security firms were engaged to assist. We also reported this to federal law enforcement.

In an abundance of caution, we are deploying advanced cyber-security tools throughout our environment to ensure devices can be used without issues and to allow us to resume normal IT operations as quickly as possible. We are also taking measures to unlock the encrypted files.

From an operational perspective,

  • Buses are not affected;
  • Teachers are conducting classes and sporting and other extracurricular events are proceeding to the extent possible under existing COVID-19 restrictions;
  • Our fire alarm and burglary systems are not affected;
  • Our cafeterias are functioning and processing transactions;
  • Each school’s main phone line is working, etc.

For faculty and staff, we are preparing to process our normal payroll this month.

This is an ongoing investigation and as such, we have been advised by cyber experts not to comment further at this time. We will notify individuals if and when needed in compliance with federal and state law.

We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work through this issue.

Thank you

Dr. Ken Barron

Superintendent Yazoo County School District"

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