Houston County Schools Superintendent says there was no data breach in malware attack

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - New information on Houston County School's malware attack - Superintendent David Sewell announced no information was stolen and they found no evidence of a data breach.

The computers and telecommunications were shut down even though the data wasn't breached.

Most of which are still shut down, just days away from school starting and now they have to start considering how to prevent this from happening again.

"We have found no evidence of a data breach,” said Sewell.

It's been a stressful two weeks for Houston County Schools since they realized a malware attack knocked out their computers and telecommunications.

The superintendent was happy to find out that during the investigation, they found nothing was stolen, so no one's personal information is at risk.

Although, that may have been the intent.

"Our virus protection did not prevent it from getting into our system, but it did prevent it from being fully activated,” said Sewell.

Because it got into the system, more than 4,000 computers and phone systems have been knocked out for several weeks.

The I.T. department is still working on making sure central office is up and running, then they will go school to school re-configuring all the computers.

Sewell also said they weren’t asked to pay a ransom.

The superintendent still thinks it will take weeks before the system is entirely back online.

While they wait on that, the board has started brainstorming ways to prevent another attack.

"We're looking at some of the tools of the people that came in to help us, we're looking at some of the programs they're using,” said Sewell. “We've moved student information off-site, and we're looking at doing the same thing with the lunch program. We're looking at making it fully web-based."

Sewell said they haven't caught the criminals who hacked the system, and he isn't sure they ever will since no information was stolen.

The first day of class is Monday for Houston County Schools.

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