Baltimore schools cyber attack cost nearly $10M: State IG
ABC News reports:
Baltimore County Public Schools failed to act on several state recommendations to help mitigate cyber attacks before a hack disrupted school operations and cost the school system millions of dollars in damages and repairs, according to a report from a state inspector general.
BCPS was hacked using a phishing email in November 2020 — a process that disrupted the school system’s website and remote learning programs for several days, according to the report from the Maryland Office of the Inspector General for Education.
Read more at MSN.
The investigative summary from the report is embedded below this post. The full OIGE reports states as background:
The OIGE initiated an investigation after receiving a complaint alleging that the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) system disregarded the recommendations made by the Maryland Office of Legislative Audits (OLA) during their 2008, 2015, and 2020 audit reports. The complaint further alleged that because OLA published its November 2020 report findings, the BCPS information technology (IT) system became the target of a cyberattack2. It was further alleged that the repeated OLA findings indicated that the BCPS IT division was not prepared for the cyberattack and failed to protect the personally identifiable information (PII) of students, staff, and BCPS retirees. Lastly, it was alleged that the BCPS failed to disclose the cost associated with ransomware3 demands, the recovery of information, and improving the IT network following the cyberattack.
The investigative summary below does not respond to all of the allegations above, but the full investigative report can be found at https://oige.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2023/01/OIGE-Case-21-0001-I-BCPS-FINAL-01232023.pdf. Even that, however, does not disclose sensitive information. But it does report that publication of their 2020 audit did not make BCPS a target for attack as the malware had already been delivered before the publication of the report and the report had not included any sensitive findings from the audit.