After Malware Attack, Rockingham County Schools Rebuilding Servers

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. - Tech experts are rebuilding 20 servers for the Rockingham County School District after a malware attack.

A school board member confirmed a virus attacked the servers this month, after someone clicked on a link in a phishing email. The repair will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars

Rockingham County School Board Vice Chair Bob Wyatt confirmed the cost of $314,000 for the repairs. The money, he said, will come out of the unrestricted fund.

During an emergency meeting last night, the board voted to bring in ten IT professionals to fix the problem that began on December 11. The head of technology for the district says they're still trying to figure out what information could have been stolen when the virus spread.

The virus is called an Emotet malware program. Tech Expert Kent Meeker says it's a type of virus that can hide in email links.

“So if you click on something that you shouldn't or didn't know about it can immediately load that onto your system, and if you don't have the right virus protection, or malware protection, it will get right through and just kind of live on the machine,” he said, “It may lay dormant for a while before it activates itself, and starts doing crazy stuff.”

Now a security firm is working to fix some of that crazy stuff. Wyatt confirmed 20 servers need to be rebuilt because of the bug. It can be a lengthy process.

“This seems like something that probably, hopefully should have been caught and now this is the repercussions of that,” Meeker said, “They are going to have to go in and rebuild all of these machines, all of these servers to get rid of it because once it is embedded in the system, it is really rough getting it out.”

Meeker is familiar with the company hired by the district - and says it has experience with taking care of this particular virus.

“Now, I think they are just doing everything they can to get rid of it. It is not a small deal, but it is rectifiable. It always is,” he said.

Again, we still don't know what kind of information might've been exposed thanks to the virus. But in a statement today, the district says it'll share more information about the virus and what's next, after the new year.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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