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Livingston Public Schools Hit With Ransomware Attack

An Essex County school district's computer systems are being held hostage in a so-called ransomware attack.
An Essex County school district's computer systems are being held hostage in a so-called ransomware attack. Photo Credit: Livingston Public Schools

The Livingston Public School district announced a late start to classes Monday due to a ransomware attack which has left the district's computers unusable.

The district's servers went down Friday and an assessment by an outside security company determined the cause to be a ransomware attack. The party responsible is not believed to be associated with the Livingston community or its public schools.

Livingston officials said data, such as transcripts, is not typically stolen or altered in such attacks. Instead, the computers are rendered inoperable. The party responsible for the attack usually demands a cash payment in order to make the computers accessible once again.

Ransomware attacks against municipal governments, school districts and other public entities are on the rise. Last year, authorities said Iranian hackers sealed off the city of Newark's computers until Newark paid $30,000 . The ransom is usually paid in virtual currency like Bitcoin.

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