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Senator Schumer Calls on Homeland Security to Investigate Cyberattacks on CNY School Districts

Natalie Fahmy

There is evidence to show numerous attacks on Central New York school district computers. And no one is sure why they are happening or who is hacking the systems. Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Superintendent of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) Jody Manning says when the attacks occurred, they had to shut down the system to protect information.

That came at a cost.

“There was a major disruption for the 50 school districts and for BOCES, throughout the region. It lasted for a total of 35.5 hours, but over the course of those days and anytime during the school day becomes disruptive to the education process, interfering with the instruction of children.”

This caught the attention of US Senator Chuck Schumer. He came to Syracuse to try and help solve the issue.

“Now the good news is, no information was taken, nothing was stolen, and no one quite knows who was doing it and why they’re doing it. But we do know this: if they’re not stopped, they could do greater damage.”

There have been nine cyberattacks this year on Central New York school districts, so Schumer is asking the federal government to help figure out what is happening.

“I am calling on the Department of Homeland Security, to launch an immediate investigation of these cyberattacks, uncover who did it, and work hand-in-hand with our local officials to make sure they don’t happen again. I’d also like them to find out who’s doing it and why, and give them the appropriate punishment.”

Schumer says that homeland security also has to try and figure out what gaps there are in cybersecurity that could be causing this. The hope is that by finding out the gaps, they can stop situations like this from happening again.