School District Suffers Sophisticated Cyber-Attack

Oliver Galvan Mauricio, Staff Reporter

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, a cyber-attack occurred on the Los Banos School District computer system bringing classes and daily campus work to a stand still.

The Technology Department responded to what initially was believed to be a virus. Teachers and staff reported issues with their computers. Multiple devices were affected and are still inoperable.  After further investigation, the Technology Department stated that the District was “possibly a victim of a cyber-security attack.”  The District office released an official letter to parents and the community addressing the situation.

Principal Mr. Jason Waltman commented, “We have a team of people working on it.  Hopefully, it will be resolved soon.”  Despite the cyber-security breach, teaching has not been deterred.  For the Los Banos School District, all present plans in regards to learning and instruction will remain unchanged and will continue.

In the days following the initial cyberattack, it was learned that not only was Los Banos Unified attacked, but many districts across the nation were victims also.  Many experts say there has been a rise in cyberattacks ever since the pandemic began last year.  “The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a warning that showed a nearly 30% increase in ransomware attacks against schools,”  according to an ABC news report in January 2021. This is due to the use of more technology, more online information, and more access points for teachers and students to communicate.

According to an article on called, “Cyberattacks on Schools Soared During the Pandemic” published on March 10, 2021, “the pandemic may be a big part of the reason for the spike in cyberattacks, the report says. That’s because schools increased their use of technology dramatically beginning last spring, including by handing out thousands of new devices, using new platforms without a lot of training for teachers, and allowing educators to use free apps that hadn’t been carefully scrutinized for privacy and security factors.”

This is nothing new, as the FBI had previously warned at the beginning of this year to not only the school teachers, but also parents and teachers to beware of “cyber criminals and bad actors,”as stated to ABC News. An alert shared by them informed that  “57% of ransomware incidents reported to the MS-ISAC involved K-12 schools.” It is of no surprise then, that such an event unfolded once more. The New York Times stated that the reason schools are targeted is because they are a special preference by cyber-hackers because schools “hold troves of private data and schools often lack the resources to fend off intruders.”

Buffalo Public Schools were also victims of the cyber-attack. According to CyberScoop, this forced “the school system’s plans for remote classes and in-person learning to a halt on Friday.”

Currently, the FBI is investigating the recent cyber-attack that affected multiple California districts.  In the case of the  Buffalo Public Schools, CyberScoop has said that no information belonging to those assisting at those schools was stolen. As of this moment, there have not been any ransom demands made by the perpetrators, as reported by the Buffalo News.