Home / Hacking / Hackers invade Wiregrass school networks – WTVY, Dothan

Hackers invade Wiregrass school networks – WTVY, Dothan

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) — Everybody using a computer has gotten an email or clicked on a link they shouldn’t have, but when a business network is invaded it could affect hundreds.

Houston County Schools is dealing with its own malware attack, but they aren’t the first. Geneva City Schools dealt with the issue back in 2018.

While Houston County Schools are delayed by four days, Geneva dealt with the issue during the school year.

Geneva City Schools Technology Coordinator Ricky Nickolson has been fighting malware for 30 years.
“Our first line of defense is our content filter,” said Nickolson.

During the fall of 2018, their network got attacked. The cleanup took three weeks.

“You can spend all the money on alarm systems all the money you want to on locks but if a human being opens the doors and lets the burglar in all your security steps are worthless,” said Nickolson.

Nickolson says even with protections in place, they can’t restrict too much or else it interferes in the classroom. Geneva County Technology Coordinator Josh Howard agrees.

“The challenge right now is that we’ve been so dependent on technology and it affects everything from payroll to testing to everyday teaching in class,” said Howard.

The most dangerous type –ransom malware – scrambling all your info asking for money to unlock it.

“These are very sophisticated groups of people that are doing targeted attacks using social engineering to target you,” said Howard.

Nickolson advises if you do get targeted – and get a message –

“Slow down, think before you click and if you don’t need to click don’t,” said Nickolson.

Nicholson says school networks are safer than the ones in your home. If you do get a suspicious message – again don’t click – just delete and reboot your computer to clear it out. Antivirus and antimalware programs can be downloaded for free online.

We asked Superintendent David Sewell what type of attack took place on his school system’s network.
So far – he has yet to answer that question.


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