Horry County school paying for computer virus ransom

Several servers system of the Horry County school remains locked after a ransom computer virus invaded the system.

Charles Hucks, executive director of technology for Horry County Schools, is trying hard to restore locked data by working non-stop 20 hour day. Once the virus was discovered last Monday, the servers were immediately shut down  to  further stop the malware from spreading, that affected with online services.

According to the Hucks, the server systems were not targeted to gain access to data, but the hackers used a high-level encryption to unlock the schools’ servers.  However, nothing was stolen or removed, and staff and student information is safe.

They have been able to retrieve most of the lost data, but  25 elementary school servers are still encrypted with no solution to solve it.

“And the only way we’ll get it back is to pay,” said Hucks.

Till now the administrators approved an $8,500 ransom to unlock the servers as the ransom is to be paid in bitcoins so they’ve had trouble making the payment.

“In the next few days we should know. We’re going server by server, back up by back up, to see exactly what we have and the time that it takes to back up, so that will be a business decision,” said Hucks.

Hucks says viruses and malware are more and more common, so they are stepping up their security.

“That’s most technology management folks worst nightmare is, for there to be something in the network and you don’t know it’s there. External visibility of servers and access and account level changes,” he said.


Share this with Your friends: