Iowa’s biggest school district has cancelled classes following a cyberattack

Des Moines Public Schools was the largest Iowa school district and cancelled all classes Tuesday. It had taken all its networks offline after “unusual activity”, which it detected one day earlier.

On Monday, the district published an announcement that all classes would be cancelled on January 10. Then they added that activities and athletics were still to occur.

“DMPS received an alert this morning about a cybersecurity incident that had occurred on their technology network. Des Moines Public Schools stated Monday that the internet and network services of the school district were shut down as a preventive measure.

“Because there aren’t many tools to support classroom learning or the operation and management of the school district, it is prudent to shut down the district.”

Des Moines Public Schools is Iowa’s largest district school. It employs over 5,000 people and has enrollments of more than 31,000 students in more than 60 schools.

BleepingComputer reached out to Des Moines Public Schools for clarification but they were not available immediately.

The nature of this ransomware attack is still unknown. However, it has been reported that other Iowa schools, such as the and the , along with the were targeted by recent ransomware attacks.

Ransomware in 2013. This included 44 colleges, universities, and 45 schools districts. The attackers had stolen data in at least 58 attacks on victims’ networks, according to Emsisoft, a cybersecurity firm.

Los Angeles Unified Schools District (LAUSD) was one of the victims in an attack ransomware, who also from LAUSD’s network a month later.

On the day LAUSD reported the incident, but days before the ransomware group claimed it, FBI, CISA and MS-ISAC jointly issued an advisory warning that Vice Society .

The attacks on education have had an enormous impact on school operations. They include restricted data access and networks, cancelled exams, and the theft or delay of student information.

Many U.S. senators called for the U.S. to boost cybersecurity protections at K-12 schools-ransomware-defenses in November 2021. The Departments of Education and Homeland Security need to increase cybersecurity protections in K-12 schools throughout the country, so that they can deal with ransomware attacks.