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Malware Incident at the Lafayette Parish School System

On the morning of Tuesday, February 16, staff in the Technology Department of the Lafayette Parish School System determined that a number of computers at the Central Office had been infected by Locky ransomware.  Those computers were isolated and taken off the network immediately. Out of an abundance of caution, staff in the Technology Department disabled the network to prevent the spread of the malware via any computers that might not yet have been identified as infected. Over the course of the next three days, the staff continued to identify and isolate computers infected by the malware.  Also, existing plans to transition to a new, more robust antivirus program were expedited, and the new software was installed across the district. Technicians brought computers back online in small groups in an order that ensured the most critical systems were most protected.

It is important to note that the Lafayette Parish School System was not held hostage by the ransomware trojan, and no student data or business critical systems were compromised.  While there was some loss of productivity at the Central Office, at schools teachers continued to teach and students continued to learn. School system technicians took rational, safe steps to safeguard the network and its data, and, because of new antivirus software and a number of other new tools, the district is now better positioned to handle any future security threats.