Updating the Maze attack on Fairfax County Public Schools
In September, 2020 Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia was hit with Maze ransomware.The attack was announced on Maze’s dedicated leak site in early September, and after multiple queries by this site, FCPS issued a statement confirming that they had been attacked.
One month later, the threat actors started dumping some data on their leak site. Shortly thereafter, the data was removed, leading to speculation that FCPS had paid ransom for the removal of the data. The district never made any public statement about whether they had paid ransom, but FCPS data was never reuploaded to Maze’s leak site and no additional data was ever dumped.
On November 9, FCPS notified the Maine Attorney General’s office of the breach, reporting that 19,653 people were impacted. They also notified their community that since their initial community notification about the breach in September, they had identified more people who would be receiving notification letters.
This week, FCPS filed a new report indicating that they had notified people of the breach on January 21. Now their estimated total number of people affected by the Maze attack was listed as 172,128. Based on the district’s census, that number likely reflects both students and employees.
DataBreaches.net sent an inquiry to FCPS asking them if they had paid ransom to the attackers, if the attackers had ever given them a copy of all data exfiltrated, and if they had found any evidence that any of the data had shown up on anywhere on the dark web or clear net, other than the original data dump sample the attackers had dumped in October and then removed. No response to the inquiries has been received by the time of this publication. This post will be updated if a reply is received.