Cybercrooks are targeting UK schools, demanding payments of up to £8,000 to unlock data they have encrypted with malware.
Action Fraud warns that fraudsters are cold-calling schools claiming to be from the Department of Education and asking for the head teachers’ email addresses. Crooks then send booby-trapped emails with infectious zip attachments supposedly containing sensitive information.
In reality, these files carry file-encrypting ransomware. Action Fraud is urging educational establishments to be vigilant.
Andrew Stuart, managing director of backup and disaster recovery vendor Datto, commented: “Unscrupulous hackers see ransomware as a business, and have already been known to exploit hospitals and even charities, so schools were always possible targets.
"It is vital that schools review their data backup procedures to ensure that they not only have copies of all critical data, but can restore their data smoothly in the event of a ransomware incident.” ®