TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)– All Baltimore County Public Schools closed Wednesday after the school system was hit with a ransomware cyber attack, according to officials.
“This morning, we decided to close all BCPS schools and offices in order to access and limit the impact of the attack,” Baltimore County Public Schools Superintended Dr. Darryl Williams said.
The district said its entire network system is now inaccessible after an unknown actor took over and demanded ransom.
Officials have not yet said how much money they want.
“We are in the preliminary steps of the investigation, and while I know that there is an interest in more information, at this time, we are just not able to provide anything additional,” Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said.
The FBI released a statement later Wednesday. They said they’re aware of the issues with BCPS:
“The FBI takes all cyber-crime seriously and is aware of the cyber-attack at Baltimore County Schools today. Per our usual policy, the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations. However, when the FBI learns about intrusions, it’s customary that we offer our assistance in these matters, especially when it has such a direct impact on our community.”
Officials said this all started late Tuesday night.
Parent Amy Adams said she thought something was off during a virtual school board meeting.
“I was tuned in to the board meeting last evening and about at about 10:30 p.m. I noticed the screen just went blue,” Adams said.
Baltimore City Schools said they are also aware of the computer network issues with County Schools. They urged students learning virtually Wednesday to only use City Schools-issued laptops or devices.