The Riverhead school district’s technology department and consultants worked “diligently over the weekend to restore as much of the district’s technology as possible” following the “cyber incident” that shut down the district’s computer and tech infrastructure Friday, the district said in a recorded phone call to families today.
While the district’s Outlook email is not available, Google applications, including student gmail accounts, as well as district-issued Chromebooks and iPads and extensions used for teaching are safe and available, according to the call.
The district is “not aware of any breach of student data at this time,” according to the call.
A phone call went out to district employees yesterday alerting them that staff data had been breached, according to district employees. Superintendent August Tornatore could not be reached for comment this afternoon.
School officials have not provided the public with information about the incident other than its statements in the two recorded calls, one on Friday morning and one today. In response to an inquiry from RiverheadLOCAL Friday morning, the district superintendent’s office confirmed in a text message that all district “employees just received a robocall message from the superintendent saying that we have had a ransom ware attack and computers may be down for a few days and that the authorities have been notified.” Tornatore was not available for comment Friday.
On Friday evening, the district’s public relations firm said in an email the district could not “confirm or deny that it was a ransomware attack.”
Community members should be on the alert for scammers looking to take advantage of the school district’s situation, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said in a phone interview this afternoon after the police department issued a press release warning about a robocall in which someone claiming to be a Riverhead Police sergeant said he was calling about a data breach at Riverhead High School.
That call did not come from the Riverhead Police Department or any affiliated agencies, according to the police press release.
Police provided the phone number and caller ID information connected with the robocall. A woman who answered a call to that number today said she had not made any calls of that nature and had not heard anything about it prior to RiverheadLOCAL’s inquiry. She said she had not been contacted by the Riverhead Police Department about the matter. She also said she does not live in Riverhead and does not have children in the district.
The department is not making robocalls to the community about the situation in the school district, Hegermiller said this afternoon. Anyone who receives any calls to that effect should hang up and report the call to police.
“We are still working on it and trying to figure out who the caller actually is and how the number is being used,” Hegermiller said.
Anyone with information about this matter is asked to call the Riverhead Police Department at 631-727-4500, ext. 312. All calls will be kept confidential, police said in the press release today.
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