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30,000 computers being scrubbed by Las Cruces schools in wake of hacker attack

A person uses a laptop computer.
A person uses a laptop computer.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Nearly a week and a half after being hit with a ransomware attack from hackers, Las Cruces Public Schools officials said it may take the district months to fully recover as it needs to scrub 30,000 computers.

At a briefing on Thursday afternoon, school district leaders said payroll, attendance and grading systems were back up and running internally, but are not available over the internet.

That means parents aren't able to check grades of their children online and systems that send out robocall notices of failing grades or absences are also not working.

Teachers are challenged without internet connectivity in school classrooms, but said they are getting creative to ensure students are still learning.

“It’s more hands-on activities. Instead of having a center where kids are working on a tablet they’re able to create something. You know more of the paper, scissors, glue kind of thing," said Denise Sheehan, president of the teachers' union in Las Cruces.

Matt Dawkins, LCPS' information technology director, said there was evidence that the hacker(s) had researched the district's computer systems weeks ahead of the attack.

Local and federal law enforcement agencies are investigating the attack, which is believed to be one of over 500 targeting school districts across the nation this year.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.


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