December 2, 2022

SISD’s internal computer network shut down due to virus



EL PASO, Texas – The Socorro Independent School District has been hit by a computer virus that a spokesperson said prompted its internet technology department on Friday to shut down the district’s internal network as a precautionary measure until the problem is solved.

No timetable was given as to when the network would be operational again.

Student instruction, however, continued through the Microsoft Teams platform, as it operates outside of the SISD network and officials were confident the issue would be resolved by the time the report cards were distributed.

“At the moment, there is no sign that any data has been compromised,” said SISD spokesman Daniel Escobar. “We will notify the community if there is any evidence of a data breach.”

The data it refers to includes personal information such as social security numbers and dates of birth for thousands of students and staff who have been a part of the (cyber) history of the district.

While a data breach is a problem, other parts of the network also handle parts of the finance department like payroll and accounts payable. The spokesperson admitted to ABC-7 that the payroll schedule was particularly bad due to economic hardships during the pandemic and the fast approaching vacation. He assured ABC-7, however, that employees would be paid on time using “historical” data and that they would rely on paper in the meantime.

The computer virus, which officials have refused to call a ransomware attack, is currently under investigation by the school district and a cybersecurity team it hired to help.

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