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Ransomware attack by hackers shuts down Las Cruces Public Schools computer system

Security personnel outside the LCPS district offices.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — A ransomware attack by hackers forced the shutdown Tuesday of the entire computer system for the Las Cruces Public Schools. Computer techs planned to begin the process Wednesday of trying to get the dozens of schools impacted up and running again.

"(Wednesday) we will start reaching out to schools and getting them all back on line," said Matthew Dawkins, LCPS' director of information technology. "We're hoping for 100 percent by the end of the week, but I can't make any promises there."

The attack made LCPS the latest of over 500 school districts nationwide to be victimized by ransomware this year, according to ZDNet, which has been tracking cases.

"At this time, we do not believe staff or student data has been breached or compromised," LCPS officials said in a statement.

The school district's information technology staff first discovered some of its computer servers were "infected with ransomware" about 7 a.m. Tuesday and quickly worked shut down the computer network district-wide "to prevent the ransomware from spreading."

While officials were unsure when all their systems and servers would be fully operational again, they noted that classes and school events were not being disrupted. District offices also remained in contact with the schools by using phones and portable radios.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Jim Parker

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