Harris Federation suffers a ransomware attack, affects 40,000 students’ email

Harris Federation an educational charity has become the fourth multi-academy trust to have suffered a ransomware attack since February this year. The ransomware attack has forced the educational charity to shut down its IT systems, and temporarily disable its email system and switchboard services.

The temporary move has left students unable to access their email accounts, correspondence, and coursework. Devices which the Harris Foundation has given to students were also disabled.

In a press release, Harris Federation says, this is a highly sophisticated attack that will have a significant impact on its academies but it will take time to uncover the exact details of what has or has not happened, and to resolve it.

In addition to using the services of a specialized firm of cyber technology consultants, we are working closely with the National Crime Agency and the National Cyber Security Centre,” the education charity said.

A spokesperson for NCSC said, “We are aware of an incident affecting the Harris Federation and are working with the trust and law enforcement to fully understand its impact.”

This incident comes few days after the University of Northampton fell victim to a cyberattack and this follows a worrying trend of hackers targeting educational institutions and disrupting student learning, which has already been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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