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BCPS ransomware price tag nears $10 million

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John Lee
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Baltimore County School Superintendent Darryl Williams. Credit: John Lee

The cost of the ransomware attack on the Baltimore County Schools is now nearly $10 million.

That comes one year after the cyber attack crippled the school system.

WYPR received the latest cost of the ransomware attack from the school system after submitting a Freedom of Information Act request. As of November 12, it is almost $9.7 million.

The school system is expecting about $2 million of the overall cost to be covered by insurance.

The money has been spent in a number of areas to repair the damage and make the computer system safer. The big-ticket item is $2 million to move data to the cloud.

A consultant’s report on the school system released in September questioned whether BCPS is still vulnerable to a cyber attack. In an interview with WYPR earlier this month, School Superintendent Darryl Williams took issue with that.

“I think we have much better coverage based on what we’ve learned through this experience and what we want to do moving forward,” Williams said.

Williams is expected to update the school board Tuesday night on the ransomware attack.

The county schools had to shut down for three days last year because of the cyberattack. They were closed the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and two days the following week. Since then, the school system has been rebuilding its computer network and putting in safeguards.

The attack wiped out some data, including grade books and lesson plans that had been stored on a school’s shared drive or on a laptop connected to the school system’s email account.

Earlier this month, Cindy Sexton, the president of the teachers union, TABCO, said several hundred employees were still having problems with incorrect or confusing paychecks due to the damage done by the ransomware attack.

The case remains under investigation by the FBI.

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