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Toledo Public Schools provides update on cyberattack

The second day of classes went better but district leaders say they are still working out some kinks.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A cyber attack is what Toledo Public Schools officials say caused connection problems for the first day of virtual school Tuesday. 

The second day went a little better, but the district leaders say they are still working out some kinks.

"Yesterday's attack impacted every school within the district. Once we started hearing from some of the schools, then we did some checking and it just kept coming from there," TPS Senior Director of Communications Patty Mazur said. 

RELATED: TPS: Virtual learning will follow schedule after cyberattack causes internet problems for online lessons

The district shut down the internet and emails when staff detected the cyber hack, according to Mazur. This was done to prevent further issues to the district's systems.

Mazur said the second day of learning has not had as many problems and classes should have been able to resume normally.

"There's still some services and options that are not available today. But that's because we're bringing the systems back online slowly, not to overload things," she said.

Following the widespread connection problems on the first day, the district has its IT department, the FBI, and a local cybersecurity team taking a closer look at what happened.

"They are coming in and they are doing some diagnostics and going through the system. If there's anything that they find that need updating, they will absolutely do that," Mazur said.

TPS leaders added they are waiting for a final diagnostics on Tuesday's hack. 

As of right now, if parents are experiencing any technical issues, district leaders are asking them to reach out to their home school or their technology hotline.

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TPS leaders released the following statement to parents Wednesday night: 

We want to take a few minutes to provide everyone with an update following yesterday's cyber-attack on the district’s computer infrastructure. 

When the virus was first detected, our Informational Technology staff took a proactive step and shut down the district’s email and internet service. This was done to stop the attack from causing more disruption across the district. By late yesterday afternoon, internet and email were restored across the district. 

Our IT department has been very intentional with their approach in rebooting the district’s programs and systems. Eschool, the district’s student database system, is slowly being restored to full capacity. Should there be an issue with taking attendance due to this process, students will be held harmless. 

Another important point: if students encounter issues with submitting assignments because of this cyber-attack, they will have the opportunity to make up missed work. 

We thank those parents who have called our Parent Help Line at 419-671-8750. We appreciate your patience and want to assure you that our Educational Technology Department is committed to providing the best customer service possible to our students and parents. 

The FBI has been contacted and the district will cooperate fully with their investigation.  The district is also working with a cyber-forensics company to assist in the identification, isolation and remediation of the virus. They will provide expert diagnostic testing of our systems and make recommendations as needed. 

At this time, online classes for Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020 will take place and we expect little interruption. If a student has any questions tomorrow morning, they should contact their teacher or school directly for assistance. 

We appreciate everyone's patience as we work to restore our technology infrastructure.