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Cyberattack hit Lindenhurst schools, superintendent says

A cyberattack hit Lindenhurst schools last week, disrupting the district's internet service just as students were settling into their first month of remote learning.

In an email to parents Monday night, Lindenhurst Superintendent Daniel E. Giordano blamed the "intermittent internet outages" on a distributed denial of service strike, which floods a web server with traffic to effectively cripple it.

Such attacks "are not uncommon among businesses and government organizations and are intended to cause disruption as opposed to obtaining information," Giordano wrote. "It is important to note that absolutely no personal data was breached in the process."

The district has reported the incident to the Suffolk County Police Department, which in turn will report it to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Giordano wrote.

Steven Mazza, chief executive of the Hauppauge company L.I. Computer Networks, speaking for the district, said the cyberattack intermittently prevented teachers from livestreaming to remote students. He could not say who was behind the attack or what brought it to an end.

Corinne Campbell, a mother of three Lindenhurst students, said the cyberattack made for a bumpy week of remote learning. Students had trouble connecting to the district's live virtual instruction platform, she said, and teachers would occasionally disappear from computer screens midclass.

But Campbell praised the district for its handling of the situation. She said teachers in particular worked hard to mitigate the interruption, some leading classes on their personal computers or phones to bypass the disruptions.

"There were some frustrations of course," Campbell said. But "the teachers in Lindenhurst, let me tell you, they stepped it up and dealt with it so well."

Lindenhurst is not the first Long Island school district to face such online hostilities. Rockville Centre last year paid hackers $88,000 after a ransomware virus locked the district's computer files. The expense was covered by insurance.

The Mineola and Lynbrook school districts also have faced cyberattacks.

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