The Cowichan Valley school district was hacked from Indonesia sometime late last Saturday night.
While sensitive district information was unaffected, there was a flurry of activity from the district’s computer whizzes on Sunday morning, according to Schools Superintendent Rod Allen, who reported about the incident to the school board on Nov. 1.
“They have been identified as coming out of Indonesia; they got in and hacked our website and email. Glen Posey [district technology principal] and his staff have been great. There’ve been a lot of computer problems provincially and locally the last three or four days.”
The hack to the local system “caused a complete rebuild of servers and a reset on Sunday morning,” Allen said.
He said the hacking did not affect district records or important information.
“We are overall secure. It was just things that are outward facing like the website, email and things like that. The server shut down so there was no email possible for about four hours on Saturday night/Sunday morning.”
To add to that, in an unrelated incident, “a switch blew out yesterday which caused email to go down and then, today, there is yet again a server provincially that’s been affected. There just seems to have been one thing after another. There’s been a lot of work in the background trying to keep us up and running,” he said..
The timing has, unfortunately coincided with problems with computers at the education ministry elsewhere in the province, which has bogged down the system somewhat.
He urged trustees and staff, “if you are looking for an important email, you should check to make sure they got yours right now. Lots of those things seem to be missing now around the province, and indeed in western Canada, email-wise,” he said.
“I was trying to connect with people from the ministry today and their servers are still down. It’s caused some havoc.”
Allen was still receiving messages by text on Tuesday evening at the board meeting, rather than by email.
Trustee Elizabeth Croft asked if the district has insurance to cover possible damages from that kind of problem.
Secretary-treasurer Jason Sandquist replied, “Our assets are insured. It depends on the scope. The school protection plan has a $10,000 deductible so the damage would have to be pretty significant.”