Classes in Selma canceled Friday after district computer systems hit by ransomware

A hacker used ransomware to take some computer systems of the Selma school district hostage.
SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Virtual classes came to screeching halt on Friday for all Selma schools after the district was targeted by a ransom hack.

Just before noon, all teachers were contacted and told they needed to end instruction immediately.

Officials with the school district say personal information wasn't targeted, but programs needed for online instruction were.

Officials say the breach happened overnight.

A hacker used ransomware to take some computer systems hostage.

A message was also sent to the district, but it wasn't opened out of caution.

The assistant superintendent of business services, Larry Teixeira, told Action News he believes the hacker wanted money in exchange for letting the district get their computer systems and files back.

To locate the damage the entire network had to be brought down quickly.

"We talked about the possibility of waiting to the end of school, but our IT folks said, just like any other infection, the longer you let it go the worse it is going to get," said Teixeira.

According to district officials, one of the programs held hostage was a student information system.

It holds student demographics along with attendance.

They say the hackers didn't get the information - they just encrypted the files to try and get the ransom money.

At this point, authorities are not sure who is behind the attack but know the hacker is overseas.

District officials are stressing that no one's electronic devices or information was compromised.

Everything is expected to be up and running by Monday - and the ransom money was not paid.
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