Kent school

The information technology (IT) systems and telephone lines are now experiencing an outage.

A significant information technology breach has occurred at a secondary school located in Kent.  As a precautionary measure, parents have been advised to remain vigilant and be cautious of any atypical communication they may receive.

St Augustine’s Academy, a secondary educational institution located in Maidstone, has recently fallen victim to an assault perpetrated by an external criminal organization.

The principal, Jason Feldwick, communicated with parents and guardians via a Facebook message, notifying them about the breach of student data.

Furthermore, the communication was disseminated on the educational institution’s official website.

Characterizing the incident as a “severe information technology breach,” Mr. Feldwick has stated that the educational systems and associated data have been subjected to encryption by an external criminal entity.

The security of the external WisePay system is assured, while the internal student data and parental information have been subjected to encryption measures.

He made the statement, “It is advised to exercise increased caution in the event that you receive any atypical electronic communications or telephone conversations.”

St. Augustine’s, an educational institution with an enrollment exceeding 750 pupils, commenced its academic activities for the current term earlier this week.  Presently, all of the organization’s telephone lines and email services are non-operational.

Instead, individuals are being instructed to direct their inquiries to the managing Woodard Academies Trust.  However, Mr. Feldwick has requested that individuals only contact through phone in the event of an emergency.

According to Chris Passmore, a county councilor affiliated with the Liberal Democrat party, this incident serves as evidence that no individual is exempt from the risks posed by cyber assaults.  Passmore further underscores the importance of maintaining a state of alertness and preparedness in order to mitigate such threats.

I intend to closely monitor the progress of events.

According to Muhammad Yahya Patel from Check Point Software, the education sector remains a prominent target for hackers due to the substantial volume of sensitive data it holds, coupled with the insufficient allocation of funds towards implementing proactive cybersecurity measures.

Regrettably, we anticipate that this will manifest as an upward trajectory, given the cyber criminals’ persistent efforts to augment the frequency of phishing and ransomware attacks.

The recent assault on St Augustine’s Academy was the second occurrence within a fortnight targeting an educational institution in the United Kingdom.  The computer facilities at Debenham High School in Suffolk experienced an incident last week, resulting in their temporary unavailability.  It is important to note that no personal data was compromised during this event.

During the current back-to-school season, the National Cyber Security Centre issued a cautionary advisory to educational institutions regarding the need for heightened vigilance against cyber attacks, which tend to have a more pronounced impact during this period.

About The Author:

Yogesh Naager is a content marketer who specializes in the cybersecurity and B2B space.  Besides writing for the News4Hackers blog, he’s also written for brands including CollegeDunia, Utsav Fashion, and NASSCOM.  Naager entered the field of content in an unusual way.  He began his career as an insurance sales executive, where he developed an interest in simplifying difficult concepts.  He also combines this interest with a love of narrative, which makes him a good writer in the cybersecurity field.  In the bottom line, he frequently writes for Craw Security.

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