Hackers Freeze NYC Public School Systems

NEW YORK -

A cyberattack paralyzed the city’s Department of Education transcript provider in early December, and demanded money in exchange for the files.

The New York Post reported that the Ubiqus Group, a contractor that provides disciplinary hearing transcripts for New York City public schools, was attacked by hackers on December 4th.

The hackers attempted a ransomware attack, which entails the hackers lock or otherwise disable files and data until a ransom is paid; the DOE did not say if a ransom was demanded or paid.

With the system shut down, termination hearings for tenured teachers accused of incompetence were suddenly canceled.

Betsy Combier, a paralegal, lamented that the lack of transcript and the evidence of a teacher’s history make her job working with public school teachers much more difficult. “This is serious. Transcripts are the lifeblood of these hearings,” said Combier, “You can’t do anything without the transcripts, you can’t do a closing. You can’t decide a case.”

The DOE said it was working with the Ubiqus Group to investigate.