Huntsville schools reopen after cyberattack minus computers

computer typing

Students have returned to class in one of Alabama’s largest school systems after a cyberattack shut down the system last week, but students in Huntsville are doing their work on paper rather than computers.

Huntsville city schools said in an update that students still didn’t have access to computers as classes resumed Monday, a week after the attack first forced a shutdown.

Workers spent the weekend helping teachers make copies and delivering them to schools, officials said in a message posted on the system’s website, and students who aren’t in traditional classes because of the pandemic also are getting paper copies rather than virtual lessons.

Teachers and students still aren’t allowed to turn on electronic devices.

Bo Coln, the principal of Challenger Middle School, said many parents had picked up lesson packets, and administrators were trying to make sure each child received the materials.

“I personally will take it to their house if I have to because they have to be getting the information. So my assistant principal and I will probably deliver a lot of them if they don’t pick them up, but I know we are having a pretty good turn out,” Coln told news outlets.

With nearly 23,000 students, more than 2,000 employees, and about 40 schools, Huntsville City Schools closed early on Nov. 30 because of what officials described as a ransomware attack and remained closed the rest of the week.

In a typical ransomware attack, hackers gain access to a computer system and threaten to withhold or destroy information unless money is paid. School officials haven’t released details on the type of attack that forced the shutdown, and it’s unclear what information might be compromised.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.