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Madison City Schools hit with cybersecurity threat

MADISON – Madison City Schools has been the target of cybersecurity threat, school officials said Monday. According to MCS superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols, the school district has been dealing with the threat since last Thursday.

“One of our advanced threat protection systems alerted us to a potential cybersecurity breach,” Nichols said. “Our Technology team, along with our cybersecurity partners, immediately pulled critical systems offline to begin analyzing the threat. After a full weekend with all hands on deck, their belief is that it was an attempt to lock our system and hold it for ransom. The probe prompted our team to engage in a multitude of ongoing mitigation techniques to minimize the likelihood of success of the attack. Appropriate law enforcement agencies were alerted of this attempted breach, and we continue to consult with the proper authorities to ensure our safety.”

Nichols added the school district has found no evidence any of their data or personal information has been compromised. “This data is your data, not just ours, so I felt it prudent to report this to you and where we currently stand in our efforts to protect your data and our network,” Nichols stated in an email to parents Monday evening.

Nichols said the school district’s websites were not affected in any way, but the server that controls access to their websites is down for additional maintenance. “Our websites may be a day or two behind in providing our normal updates,” he explained.

“In today’s world, no organization nor individual is completely safe from potential cyber threats. However, Madison City Schools has made cybersecurity one of its top priorities in recent years. We have dedicated the resources to ensure that we have the most protection possible in an event such as this,” Nichols said.

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