UPDATED: Hampshire Constabulary have launched an investigation into the breach of a computer system at Sandown Bay Academy which has left staff unable to access computer records and has resulted in disruption to the day-to-day running of the school.
On Tuesday parents were notified of technical difficulties which meant they were unable to access the SIMs Learning Gateway and that the school’s canteen was only able to accept cash.
The larger situation was made clear yesterday (Wednesday) when the school confirmed that a breach of the school’s computer system had occurred resulting in a lack of access to vital computer records. It is currently unknown if emergency contact details, electronic registers, medical information and timetable information were affected.
The school say they have launched an internal enquiry but are also fully co-operating with Police, who have launched their own investigation.
Principal Claire Charlemagne has said:
“We are taking every measure possible to maintain the safety and security of our school community at this time. This has involved working closely with a leading specialist computer technology company, RM.
“Please rest assured that we are doing everything we can at Sandown Bay to focus on ensuring the best learning experience for our students while we work through this situation”.
UPDATE @ 12:00 – Hampshire Constabulary have confirmed that a 57-year-old man has been arrested, questioned and bailed on suspicion of committing offences contrary to the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
The unnamed man has been bailed to return to Newport Police Station on 3rd January 2017.
UPDATE @ 15:00 – In a statement released this afternoon, a spokesperson for Sandown Bay Academy has said:
“Sandown Bay Academy has experienced a deliberate malicious cyber attack which has encrypted our central server. A criminal investigation is underway led by CID detectives.
“In practice this means that some of our computer records are currently inaccessible. We do however have emergency contact information, google mail and google docs as well as registers for all students. For the next few days, students may have to do some old-fashioned textbook learning just like their parents.
“At this stage the evidence suggests that this was an isolated cyber attack intended to disrupt the school.
“We are unable to discuss any more detail at this stage as this is on ongoing criminal investigation. If anyone has any concerns or information they are advised to call 101 and reference the Sandown Bay cyber attack.”