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LATEST NEWS

  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

Toronto District School Board hit by a ransomware attack: Investigations ongoing


The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is grappling with the aftermath of a ransomware attack targeting its technology testing environment. Officials are investigating the incident and its potential impact on student and staff data.



The attack, discovered on Wednesday, June 12th, 2024, involved unauthorized access to a separate system used to test new programs before deploying them on the board's main network. While the main systems remain operational, the possibility of compromised personal information has caused concern.


"TDSB recently became aware that an unauthorized third party gained access to TDSB's technology testing environment, which is a separate environment used by TDSB IT Services to test programs before they are run live on TDSB systems. We are conducting a thorough investigation to understand the nature of the incident, any impact on our network, and if any personal information may have been affected by the incident," TDSB wrote on its website.


The institution has notified the Toronto Police Service and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and it’s working with third-party cybersecurity experts to determine the extent of the incident. They have assured the public that if any personal information is found to be compromised, affected individuals will be notified.


TDSB is Canada's largest school board and the fourth largest in North America. With an annual budget of $2.5 billion, the organization is responsible for the administration and management of 473 elementary, 110 secondary, and five adult education schools. This translates to about 247,000 students plus 40,000 staff members.


Potentially impacted individuals seeking answers are invited to contact the organization at: cyberincident@tdsb.on.ca


This attack highlights the growing threat of cyberattacks on educational institutions. Ransomware attacks, which encrypt data and demand payment for decryption, can disrupt school operations and compromise sensitive student and staff information.


No ransomware group has come out to claim the attack at the time of writing this.

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