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Ransomware attack on Arizona Schools

Ransomware attack on Arizona Schools

Yet again we have another victim of a ransomware attack. This time its Arizona Unified School District. 15 schools were serving more than 9.600 students were affected.

The attack was first discovered on September 4th 2019. District official worked over the weekend to try to secure the systems and assets damaged from the attack. Nearly 2,000 devices were affected, according to reports. As a result, all students were send back on 5th September and were given off on the following day (6th September) as well. Microsoft cloud backup can be used to backup your data efficiently.

The Aftermath

After discovering a ransom note, which stated that the school district should negotiate with the attackers, officials immediately tried removing the servers and clients off the network. Teachers and district employees relinquished their systems so they could be examined for malware and a new anti-virus software could be installed. As a result, the district had to close the affected schools until its business systems and back-ups were up and running. In the meantime, staffers used the middle school’s library secured computers.

Mike Penca, a superintendent said that, “if we don’t do this, we’re at risk of re-infestation because there could be a contaminated machine that, when they turn the system back on, could cause us to lose all the work that we’ve done in the last couple of days.” This proves how critical this step was.

How could it have been prevented?

Ransomware is a menace and while we can’t stop these from coming, we can most certainly prevent them. How? Simple, cloud backups. I could not emphasize more on the importance of a proper cloud backup.

No matter what service you use, there is a cloud backup option for all of them. For e.g. Veeam Cloud Connect for Azure. By leveraging a cloud backup solution, you are able to back up all your data in the cloud and is protected in a safe and secure (off-site) location.

This is a great Backup and disaster recovery plan as in an event of a cyber-attack or a natural disaster, you can easily recover your files in a matter of minutes from an off-site location (cloud) and continue work seamlessly without paying any sort of ransom to the attackers.

This in return, will offer better business continuity and will ensure a very low downtime as the recovery process usually takes about 10-15 minutes’ maximum.


The Arizona schools are just a recent example of the ransomware existence. These attacks can shake the very foundation of a company and a lot of money is lost with these attacks, not to mention downtime. Having a cloud backup enables companies to be at peace with their backup solution and gives them the option on instant data recovery, if an attack occurs.

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