Ransomware Closes Four Learning institutions in Nantucket 2023
Four public schools on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, serving 1,700 students were closed due to a ransomware attack that shut down all student and staff devices, as well as safety and security systems. The attack forced an early dismissal at noon on Tuesday. In a separate incident, the Tucson Unified School District in southern Arizona suffered a ransomware attack as well. Ransomware attacks have been a longstanding problem for US schools and other organizations that may lack the budget and personnel to defend against hacks. The federal US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has warned that a lack of cybersecurity budgeting at primary schools is a major constraint to implementing effective cybersecurity programs. Several school districts have been affected by ransomware attacks in the past, and the disruptions caused by such attacks have been further compounded by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Understanding the Mirai Botnet: Mirai is a type of malware that infects IoT devices such as IP cameras, routers, and DVRs, forming a network of compromised devices known as a botnet. The malware proliferates by exploiting weak security measures like default usernames and passwords, as well as known vulnerabilities. Once a device is compromised, attackers can remotely control it to execute Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks or other malicious activities.