A secondary school in Gelderland has paid a ransom after a cyber attack. Director of the Staring College, Carlien Krist-Spit, informed parents of schoolchildren and other involved parties per email on Friday. She will not say how much ransom has been paid. The school community has reported the matter to the police.
Employees of the school noticed last Tuesday that data was encrypted and files were no longer accessible. This endangered the continuity of education and exams, says Krist-Spit. For that reason, the school decided to comply with the ransom demand. According to the school administrator, the situation feels like a nightmare for everyone at the school, she told local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland. “The decision we made goes against all our principles. It feels very bad. However, the importance of allowing education to continue, especially at this time, has been the deciding factor. “
On Monday, the school will remain closed, also for online education. Classes may resume on Tuesday.
The number of cyber attacks has been increasing. Ransom demands are also on the rise. Last December, the municipality of Hof van Twente in Overijssel was hit by a cyber attack. Hackers then demanded 750,000 euros to release computer data. In 2019, Maastricht University paid more than 2 tons of ransom after a ransomware attack.