Scranton PA
Image: Cameron Sanborn via Unsplash

Pennsylvania’s Scranton School District dealing with ransomware attack

Schools in Scranton, Pennsylvania, are dealing with a ransomware attack, the district confirmed in a Friday message to students.

On Facebook, the Scranton School District warned that it is dealing with widespread technology outages as a result of the attack. 

“The attack is causing a temporary disruption to some of our computer systems and services. We are working diligently with third party forensic specialists, that we engaged last evening, to investigate the source of this incident, confirm its impact on our systems, and to restore full functionality to the system as soon as possible,” they wrote.  

“As you know, some files may be inaccessible during this period as we, and the third party forensic specialists, continue the investigation. Due to the increased security measures placed in our systems, some functions may be slower than usual.”

The school district — which serves about 10,000 students across 15 different schools — first notified students of issues on Thursday, when it told students to arrive at school two hours later than usual. 

Acting Superintendent Patrick Laffey confirmed the ransomware attack in an interview with The Times-Tribune. 

Students told the newspaper that they were forced to do assignments with paper and pencil as opposed to their usual Chromebooks. 

Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow, who tracks ransomware attacks against local governments and schools, said the attack on Scranton is at least the 21st confirmed ransomware attack against a K-12 school district in 2024. 

Schools in New Jersey and other states have already been forced to cancel classes in January after a cyberattack, and dozens of schools reported data theft earlier this year from holiday-season attacks. Six California school districts announced this week that they were forced to pay thousands to resolve incidents over the last three years.

Last year, Emsisoft tracked at least 108 ransomware attacks on K-12 school districts. 

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.