United Kingdom

Hackers target private computer systems of six Isle of Wight schools in 'ransomware' attack

Hackers have targeted the private computer systems of six schools on the Isle of Wight.

A so-called 'ransomware' attack crippled the servers of the Island Education Federation.

Such attacks use a computer virus that when downloaded can encrypt data, with cybercriminals demanding money to restore the systems.

At least one school affected has delayed the start to term and said it would take 'months of work' to recreate all the information that was lost.

A so-called 'ransomware' attack crippled the servers of the Island Education Federation, affecting six schools on the Isle of Wight (stock image)

The IT systems were compromised between July 28 and 29 and affected three primary schools, two secondary schools and a sixth form college.

A spokesman for the group said: 'We are working with officers from the police cybercrime unit to pursue the cyber criminals and understand the full impact of the attack.

'There are obviously some significant implications of this, which we are managing and will take measures to secure our systems even further in the future.'

In March, 37,000 pupils at Harris Federation academies in London were left unable to access emails. It was the fourth attack on school trusts that month.

Lanesend Primary (pictured), one of the six schools affected, announced that pupils would return three days later than planned for the Autumn term due to the disruption

It is not yet known what data has been encrypted in the latest attack, but personal data of pupils and staff - including registrations, addresses, and dates of birth - are often stored on servers.

One of those affected, Lanesend primary, has announced that pupils would return to the classroom three days later than planned for the Autumn term due to the disruption.

A statement said: 'Having spoken to our service provider, we understand that the attack means that all the information that we stored with them has been encrypted. This means we cannot and will not be able to access it again.

'As you can imagine, the team now have hours, days, and months of work ahead of them to recreate the information that has been lost. 

'In order to assist with this painstaking process, the Trustees have approved the school to close for 3 extra days at the end of the summer holidays.'

Football news:

The Premier League will discuss the fight against racism with Lukaku. The Belgian doubts the effectiveness of kneeling
Juventus have missed out in 20 consecutive Serie A rounds. The club's anti-record is 21 matches in 1955
Dybala was injured and left the field in tears. He opened the scoring in the match with Sampdoria
Perin plays in the goal of Juventus for the first time in 2.5 years. The club has conceded in 19 consecutive Serie A matches
Allegri has his 400th match in Serie A as a coach. He has 243 wins and 79 draws
Real Madrid is leading in La Liga, and this is the main thing. Ancelotti on 0:0 with Villarreal
Asensio has made 200 appearances for Real Madrid. He has 127 wins and 40 goals