Report: Ransomware Hackers Cost Schools $3.56 Billion in 2021

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Ransomware attacks have become a growing issue in recent years, now a new report claims that hackers cost schools $3.56 billion in losses and downtime in just 2021.

Breitbart News has previously reported on the increasing number of ransomware attacks in recent years, many of them on hospital systems. But schools have also been a major target for hackers, with Hot Hardware reporting that hackers cost schools $3.56 billion in 2021 via ransomware attacks on schools.

Participant hold their laptops in front of an illuminated wall at the annual Chaos Computer Club (CCC) computer hackers' congress, called 29C3, on December 28, 2012 in Hamburg, Germany. The 29th Chaos Communication Congress (29C3) attracts hundreds of participants worldwide annually to engage in workshops and lectures discussing the role of technology in society and its future. (Photo by Patrick Lux/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Lux/Getty Images)

A report from Comparitech reveals that 954 schools were affected by 67 individual ransomware attacks in 2021. It’s estimated that the financial impact on these education systems was approximately $3.56 billion in downtime.

According to Comparitech, approximately 950,000 students in the U.S. were affected due to ransomware attacks last year. Some schools were even forced to shut their doors permanently as a result of the attacks, such as Lincoln College which was affected by ransomware in December 2021 and shut down in May due to low enrollment numbers.

Breitbart News reported in 2021, ransomware hackers published the data of more than 1,200 American K-12 schools according to Brett Callow, a ransomware analyst at the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft. Some schools that were informed of the leak of their student’s data appeared to be unaware of the issue.

The student data leaked includes personal information, including medical conditions, family financial statuses, social security numbers, and birthdays. This information could result in children falling victim to identity theft before they’re even of working age.

Doug Levin, the director of the nonprofit organization K12 Security Information Exchange, noted that public school systems are often not equipped to protect students’ data from hackers. “I think it’s pretty clear right now they’re not paying enough attention to how to ensure that data is secure, and I think everyone is at wits’ end about what to do when it’s exposed,” Levin said. “And I don’t think people have a good handle on how large that exposure is.”

Read more at Hot Hardware here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address


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