15 schools in the United Kingdom suffered a cyber-attack and were unable to provide online learning. The schools are based in Nottinghamshire that belong to the Nova Education Trust co-operative.
According to a local publication NottinghamshireLive, several of the schools reported issues across social media and the need to close down the IT systems due to the cyberattack.
Nova Education Trust stated that a threat actor managed to access the trust’s central network infrastructure. All the existing phone, email, and website communication had to be pulled due to the investigation.
Students are still learning remotely in England. Schools are set to reopen on March 8, meanwhile, only a small subset of children are attending school physically, such as the children of key workers.
The 15 schools that were affected by the central cybersecurity incident were not able to provide typical remote learning and teachers have been unable to upload learning materials. However, some of the schools have pivoted to SMS messages, temporary phone numbers, and Microsoft Teams to try and keep lesson disruption to a minimum.
The IT teams are still working to restore the trust’s systems. It is not known who is responsible for the attack and the incident highlights how centralized IT infrastructures, when compromised, can impact any and all institutions relying on them.
Nova Education Trust stated that the incident has been reported to the Department for Education and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and the trust is currently working with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and additional security professionals to resolve the matter. They have instructed all the trust employees to take the necessary precautions.
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