TODAY'S PAPER
45° Good Morning
45° Good Morning
Long IslandEducation

Cyberattack disrupts operations in Bay Shore school district

A hacker attack has disrupted computer service for students and teachers in the Bay Shore school district — the second reported hit on a Long Island school system in the past week.

In a message posted on Bay Shore's website, Superintendent Joseph Bond said the cyberattack was meant to flood the district's computer system, rather than stealing information.

Technically, such assaults are known as distributed denial of service, or DDoS. A similar incident was reported in Lindenhurst's school district Monday.

"It has led to intermittent service disruptions within our buildings, impacting both our staff and students," Bond stated. "This attack is similar to what some other local school districts have experienced in the last few weeks."

"There is no indication that there has been any kind of data breach of any of our systems," Bond added.

Typically, DDoS attacks result in slowdowns of computer functions — a frustrating experience for students and teachers, especially those working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bond, who could not be reached by phone late Friday, added that the incident would be turned over to authorities, and that cyberattacks could result in imprisonment and fines up to $500,000, under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Bond thanked local teachers for continuing to work through the situation, and tech staff who joined the service provider in an effort to "solve this issue as quickly as possible."

Such crimes are typically referred by local police to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In Lindenhurst, a cyberattack last week prevented teachers from livestreaming to remote students, according to a computer-networks firm executive who spoke for the district. A parent added that the incident made for a bumpy opening month of classes for students working at home, who occasionally witnessed teachers disappearing from computer screens during class.

Bay Shore and Lindenhurst are hardly the first districts struck by cybercriminals. Rockville Centre last year paid hackers $88,000 after a ransomware virus locked the district's computer files. Insurance covered the expense.

Latest Long Island News