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Baltimore County school leaders: First-quarter grades, transcripts, special ed records recovered after ransomware attack

Baltimore County public school leaders say they have gained access to files that were feared lost in November’s devastating ransomware attack, including student transcripts, first-quarter grades and vital records for children in special education programs.

In an email sent Wednesday to the school community, Superintendent Darryl L. Williams said report cards will be issued on time and transcripts for college applicants and transfer students can soon be sent. Williams also said officials can once again access special education students’ individualized education programs that were saved before Nov. 1.

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School officials still are trying to restore staff members’ files, but Williams said some files that were saved to a cloud-based program may be available.

The superintendent also said a third-party expert, with whom the school system has been working, has concluded that there is no evidence any sensitive data was accessed or stolen. School leaders previously said they did not believe private information was compromised in the attack.

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“No doubt, 2020 tested our collective resolve,” Williams said in the email. “But the resilience of our students, teachers, and school-based staff is clear.”

Baltimore County’s school system was shut down the day before Thanksgiving by the ransomware attack that hit all its network systems and closed school for several days for about 111,000 students. Ransomware attacks typically block access to a computer system or files until money is paid.

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