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Petya Ransomware May Affect Schools and Districts

Many of you have read in the news about recent ransomware attacks around the world. The message below from by US-CERT, linked here, offers information that schools and school districts can use to help protect themselves.

Multiple Petya Ransomware Infections Reported

US-CERT has received multiple reports of Petya ransomware infections in many countries around the world.Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to the infected machine until a ransom is paid to unlock it. Individuals and organizations are discouraged from paying the ransom, as this does not guarantee that access will be restored. Using unpatched and unsupported software may increase the risk of proliferation of cybersecurity threats, such as ransomware.

Petya ransomware encrypts the master boot records of infected Windows computers, making affected machines unusable. Open-source reports indicate that the ransomware exploits vulnerabilities in Server Message Block (SMB). US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the US-CERT article on the Microsoft SMBv1 Vulnerability and the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010. For general advice on how to best protect against ransomware, review US-CERT Alert TA16-091A. Please report any ransomware incidents to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

If your school or district has been targeted or is a victim of this type of attack, the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) can provide for assistance in responding and reporting the incident. PTAC can be reached at Please also report any ransomware incidents to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at

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