‘This virus affected critical operating systems’ -- Ransomware closes Richmond school district

School expected to be resumed Monday.

Ransomware attack forces Richmond Schools to extend holiday break
Ransomware attack forces Richmond Schools to extend holiday break

RICHMOND, Mich. – Winter break has been extended for students in the Richmond Community Schools district -- Thursday and Friday’s classes have been canceled.

Officials with the district said several of its servers were attacked by ransomware over the holiday break. School systems -- including heating, printers, telephones and other classroom technology -- have been affected.

ORIGINAL STORY: Ransomware attack forces Richmond Schools to extend holiday break

The district’s IT department and superintendent shut down school for Thursday and Friday while they work to get everything back up and running correctly.

Officials insist private information is not at risk and is not accessible by the suspected hacker through the ransomware.

“Student information, which is in PowerSchool, and staff information, which is housed in AS400; is all on the county wide servers,” said superintendent Brian Walmsley. “None of that information was affected because it’s housed over at the county.”

The virus was discovered over the holiday break.

The district posted on its website the following statement:

Over the holiday break, several district servers were “attacked” by a Ransomware virus. This virus has affected critical operating systems in the district, including but not limited to heating, telephones, copiers, and classroom technology.

District personnel and network server contractors have been working to resolve the problem. No student or staff information has been compromised. However, it is a very time-consuming process and is not expected to be completed by Thursday.

In an effort to give parents as much notice as possible, SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED on Thursday, January 2nd and Friday, January 3rd for a building problem.


About the Authors:

Evrod Cassimy is the morning anchor for Local 4 News Today. He joined WDIV in August of 2013. He is an award winning journalist and a six-time Emmy Award nominee. Evrod was born in Michigan but grew up in the Chicagoland area.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.