IT Men Face A Formidable Foe

Remember that time early in the school year when PowerSchool and Moodle were down for awhile and you couldn’t see your grades or access your class on Moodle? If you’re in Journalism, you’d remember that fateful time the most vividly. That’s when our servers went down and our software was the victim of a ransomware attack by an unknown hacker. Well, have you ever thought even more about how we got out of that situation? If it wasn’t for the inexhaustible efforts of Roger Mathews, Mike Bates, and Sean Romero, we could’ve been in DEEP, DEEP trouble.

On September 24th, an unknown hacker breached our school’s computer systems and encrypted our files, asking for a ransom for their return. As soon as VCHS began to settle in for another school year, a whopping several million files were encrypted due to a ransomware attack! This created issues with PowerSchool, as now, teachers couldn’t enter grades or keep attendance. VCHS lost our virtualized desktop system, which caused teachers and staff to lose access to their network files. Our network authentication servers were severely hit too, resulting in issues with the WiFi and Moodle too.

It was a scary situation, which put unneeded stress and strain on the shoulders of students and faculty alike. Nobody knew what was going to happen. Luckily for us, our dedicated IT department worked 7 days a week for many weeks visiting EVERY SINGLE COMPUTER on campus to install specialized software, collect data, and personally help teachers with technical difficulties, due to their own tech malfunctions. 

Mr. Rogers and Mr. Bates were constantly in contact with a forensic IT company which provided decryption tools  to aid them in this battle against the indominible hacker. Joining forces with this company, our IT department gathered samples from the plagued machines and aided in developing a decryptor. Further modifications were made to ensure such an attack like this won’t happen again in the future.

Only through blood, toil, tears, and sweat could such daunting task be completed. We owe it to these guys for working diligently to get VCS back up and running.