Home / Hacking / Cyber gang extort hundreds of pounds in ransom money after hacking into school computers and threatening to delete … – Daily Mail

Cyber gang extort hundreds of pounds in ransom money after hacking into school computers and threatening to delete … – Daily Mail

  • Crime gang has extorted ransom money after hacking into school computers 
  • The cyber-scammers attacked a system used by a leading academy chain
  • Runs seven state primary schools with 800 pupils across London and South East
  • Bellevue Place Education Trust bosses said criminals infected system with virus 

Jonathan Petre for The Mail on Sunday

A crime gang has extorted ransom money after hacking into school computers and threatening to delete vital information, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

The cyber-scammers attacked a system used by a leading academy chain that runs seven state primary schools with 800 pupils across London and the South East.

Bosses at the Bellevue Place Education Trust said the criminals infected the system with a virus that could have wiped out all of its financial data. 

A crime gang has extorted ransom money after hacking into school computers and threatening to delete vital information, The Mail on Sunday has learned

A crime gang has extorted ransom money after hacking into school computers and threatening to delete vital information, The Mail on Sunday has learned

The virus was only removed after the company that runs the system for the trust paid the fraudsters hundreds of pounds worth of bitcoins, the internet currency that can be converted into cash.

The shocking raid, carried out in September, is the latest in a growing trend of attacks on school and university computer systems – with Bournemouth University hit 21 times in 12 months.

Action Fraud, the cyber-crime reporting centre that works with the police, issued warnings earlier this year for teachers to be on the alert. One method criminals use to infiltrate systems is to call schools posing as Department for Education officials.

They then ask for the personal email of the head, claiming they need to send sensitive material. But the email will contain a zip file with ‘ransomware’ that, once downloaded, will demand a payment of up to £8,000.

Schools normally refuse to pay and instead rebuild their systems. Mark Greatrex, chief executive of the trust, said: ‘An enhanced solution is now in place to protect the system.’

Bosses at the Bellevue Place Education Trust said the criminals infected the system with a virus that could have wiped out all of its financial data

Bosses at the Bellevue Place Education Trust said the criminals infected the system with a virus that could have wiped out all of its financial data


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