Home / News

U.S. Schools Targeted in Ransomware Attacks: White House Responds

U.S. First Lady Jill Biden hosted the Back to School Safely: Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools joined by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, school administrators, educators, and education technology providers nationwide.

In response to increasing ransomware attacks targeting U.S. educational institutions, the White House convened an inaugural cybersecurity summit this Tuesday. The malicious cyber onslaughts have led to the online leakage of confidential student data, ranging from medical files to reports on sexual assaults.

A report from cybersecurity firm Emsisoft revealed that 48 school districts fell victim to such attacks this year, surpassing last year’s count, with the majority suffering data breaches.

Foreign hackers, predominantly Russian-speaking, have been the culprits behind these cybercrimes, often demanding ransom in cryptocurrency following data theft. Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security advisor for cyber, highlighted that numerous states faced significant cyber attacks the previous academic year.

Despite these statistics, substantial federal funding is lacking to counteract these threats. Notably, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency announced plans for enhancing security evaluations for K-12 sectors, while tech giants like Amazon Web Services and Google have pledged grants and additional assistance.

Although a proposed pilot might allocate $200 million to boost cyber defense in educational institutions and libraries, experts argue it’s insufficient, suggesting an annual provision of $1 billion.

Critics stress that the real toll of these attacks lies in the emotional trauma of exposed private records for students, staff, and parents. Moreover, while some sectors have boosted cyber defenses, schools have been sluggish in their response, primarily due to the lack of dedicated cybersecurity personnel and minimal budgets allocated to cybersecurity defense.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

Visit Page

Filed Under

Comments

Comment Title:

  Notify me of follow-up comments

We encourage you to post comments and engage in discussions that advance this post through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can report it using the link at the end of each comment. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of CircleID. For more information on our comment policy, see Codes of Conduct.

CircleID Newsletter The Weekly Wrap

More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

VINTON CERF
Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet

Related

Topics

IPv4 Markets

Sponsored byIPv4.Global

Threat Intelligence

Sponsored byWhoisXML API

New TLDs

Sponsored byRadix

DNS

Sponsored byDNIB.com

Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign

Brand Protection

Sponsored byCSC

Cybersecurity

Sponsored byVerisign