Bishop Luffa reaches ransom deadline following hacker's threat to release children's data

A week after this newspaper revealed that hackers had targeted two Chichester schools, children's data could be revealed as the deadline for ransom is reached.
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Two Chichester schools suffered a major outage since Thursday, March 9, after hackers launched a ransomware attack on Bishop Luffa School and Rumboldswhyke Primary.

The online criminals threatened to release hundreds of sensitive files including children’s addresses, HR files and other personal data to the dark web unless the school paid a ransom of $100,000.

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In a statement early last week, the the headteacher of Bishop Luffa and CEO of the school’s academy, Austen Hindman, issued a statement confirming that hackers were holding a huge amount of sensitive data to ransom and said the school was not in a position to pay.

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The one week deadline for the payment of ransom came to an end last week and the school and Sussex Police are yet to provide updates on the incident.

At the time of writing, the school’s website and phone system is still down (Monday, March 27).

The school’s head told this newspaper last week: “As a school we do not have the financial means to pay a ransom. Even if we did, it would be a poor lesson to our students if we gave in to bullying. It is hard to understand why someone would choose to steal from and vandalise a school and use information about children for financial gain.

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“The Bishop Luffa community has been amazing in its support. We have been inundated with offers of help and with personal experiences of attacks like this that we can learn from. I would like to thank everyone who is praying for us at this time. Rumboldswhyke School is also affected by the attack, although more of their data is stored on cloud/based systems and so hopefully unaffected.”

Sussex Police and the school has bee approached for more information.