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Finalsite Recovering from Cyber Attack That Impacted 5K Schools

Finalsite Recovering from Cyber Attack That Impacted 5K Schools
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Colleges’ digital communications and marketing platform and K-12 Finalsite were hit by a ransomware attack last week that brought down the websites and communications systems of thousands of schools. Now, the company has announced that all websites are backed up and that it does not believe any data has been compromised.

About 4,500 schools in the United States, and another 500 in other countries, have been affected, Finalsite spokeswoman Morgan Delac told CNN.

Some regions viewed the event as a call to action. The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office issued a press release urging companies and public agencies to treat the attack as a reminder that anyone can be infected with ransomware. Attorney General William Tong advised organizations to act now to support defenses by taking steps such as adopting multi-factor authentication, testing incident response plans and backing up data.

Finalsite first exposed the ransomware on January 4, prompting employees to shut down some systems and take advantage of third-party forensic professionals to investigate, Finalsite said in a January 10 press release.

“This incident was not directed at any specific schools, but some areas in the Finalsite systems as a whole,” the company said in its statement.

Investigations into the incident are still ongoing, but the company said it currently has “no evidence” that its or its customers’ data was stolen. The company also emphasized that it does not keep customers’ sensitive payment, academic history or Social Security details, only information such as names and emails.

By 7:29AM EDT on January 10, the company was reporting that all websites had been restored and the eNotify app was running again. Some integrations are still being processed as of 11:19AM EDT, which Finalsite said could lead to issues like preventing the virtual campus tour files from loading and leaving some files and folders missing from File Manager.

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