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TUSD provides update on ransomware attack investigation

Posted at 9:42 PM, Apr 18, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson Unified School District has released a statement regarding the ransomware attack from January 30 which affected their network.

The district has emphasized its commitment to transparency and the communication of accurate and verifiable information to its employees and families, especially in emergency situations.

RELATED: New report finds 16,000 social security numbers and birth dates from TUSD on the dark web

Since the attack, TUSD has spoken with its staff members on a number of occasions, with the most recent being a letter from the district superintendent on March 31.

The district has been working closely with the Arizona Risk Retention Trust, their insurance carrier, and Packet Watch, a leading expert in cyberattack restoration and investigative efforts. They have also hired a group from ARETE Cyber Risk Management to review data that may have been hacked.

According to the statement, TUSD had several layers of system security in place before the cyberattack, and additional measures were taken after the attack to further increase security, including enabling multi-factor authentication for internal and external system access and the installation of the CrowdStrike Falcon platform.

The district confirms that a large amount of sensitive and confidential employee data has been accessed and taken, as noted in their March 31 letter to employees. However, the cyber-security forensic experts are still working to confirm the accuracy of any personal and confidential information that has been shared or published online.

The investigation requires the team to review tens of thousands of documents and files at a time and determine if each file can be connected to a current or former TUSD employee, parent, or student.

As a result, the district has not yet made any further statements about the validity of any district information that may have been posted on the dark web.

TUSD is encouraging its employees and families to keep a close eye on all banking information, accounts, and credit-related information.

Any affected workers will get a personal message from the district if the investigation finds that private information was exposed.

Below is the full statement from Superintendent Trujillo.

TUSD statement.JPG

Bivian Contreras is a real-time editor for KGUN 9. Bivian graduated from the University of Arizona School of Journalism with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Broadcast and is currently pursuing a degree in Broadcast Operational Meteorology. Share your story ideas and important issues with Bivian by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.