Houston County School Board systems targeted by Malware attack


Cyberattacks and Malware are one of the biggest threats on the internet, and Thursday evening the Houston County School Board announced that their computer systems were the victim of a Malware technology hack.

As a result, the phone line at the central office has been unavailable since the attack happened.

“We’re working diligently with law enforcement and network engineers to address the issue,” Houston County School Superintendent David Sewell said.

One question parents may be wondering, is how can Malware infect a system? WDHN spoke with someone who is familiar with Malware about how this can happen.

“Most of the time, in my experience, it’s been they’ll send you an email,” Brandon Shoupe, Houston County District 4 Commissioner, said. “It may look like it’s coming from me. It’s got this attachment, and it sounds like a legitimate email. Then you open up the attachment and there’s nothing there but your computer and network have just been, you know, completely compromised.”

And, if you’re wondering if it’s just the school board that’s being hacked:

“Just think about this: here in little Houston County, the Houston County School Board is being targeted,” Shoupe said. “Your business and your organization, you’re probably being targeted to.”

However, there are ways to avoid having Malware placed in your system.

“You can start by installing Malware and Antivirus Software,” WDHN Network Engineer, Kyle Snell, said. “Keep your Antivirus and Malware Software up to date, keep your operating system patched fully, and run regularly scheduled scans.”

Snell said some of the best Malware and Antivirus Software is Malwarebytes, Norton Antivirus, Avast Antivirus, McAfee, and AVG.

Kyle Snell’s six-step list on how to keep networks safe: 1. Install antivirus/malware software 2. Keep your antivirus software 3. Run regularly scheduled scans 4. Keep your operating system current (What I mean by that is to make sure you are running updates on your Windows or Mac OS System.) 5. Think before you click (Don’t open an email from someone you don’t know or an unknown company. If you download files from the internet scan them before you open or run them.) 6. Most importantly back up your files (Run a system restore point once a week or whenever you receive critical data.)

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