Cyber-attack not cause of damage

Local News

Despite a news report in the Fairmont Sentinel on Wednesday, a cybersecurity breach last month did not cause damage to the Blue Earth Area High School gymnasium floor.

“We actually had a plan to fix the floor prior to the cybersecurity event,” says Superintendent Mandy Fletcher. “It was not the cause of the damage. I’m not sure why it was implied as such.”

Fletcher says damage to the gym floor was actually caused by the heavy rains that occurred in August.

It’s expected to cost $75,000 to repair and replace the damaged portion, sand the entire floor and install new graphics.

“We have a narrow window of opportunity to get the floor finished by the time winter sports begin,” Fletcher says. “It will take about five to six weeks. We hope everything goes smoothly so we can resume our activities as normal.”

Student class officers have assisted the district’s facilities committee and Fletcher to develop design options for the floor.

On Sept. 19, an early morning cyber-attack attempted to impact a device that controls the building’s automation system.

Hackers demanded a Bitcoin ransom, says the superintendent, in exchange for giving back the district control of the system.

Fletcher says no private data of staff or students was compromised or exposed during the breach.

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