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Baltimore County schools say district-issued Chromebooks, Google accounts are OK to use after ransomware attack

Baltimore County’s school system said Sunday that its district-issued Chromebooks and Google accounts were not affected by last week’s ransomware attack.

While the Chromebooks are safe, the district said Windows-based devices should still not be used as it further investigates the attack.

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“Our focus today and for Monday and Tuesday is identifying and addressing student and staff device needs so that instruction can continue,” the school system said. “We now know that BCPS-issued Chromebooks were not impacted by the cyber attack.”

While offices remain open, classes are canceled for Monday and Tuesday after the cyberattack closed school the day before Thanksgiving for the 115,000 students attending classes entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Officials said they will continue to offer updates each day on social media at 5 p.m. and that student meals will be available for pickup at no cost at more than 300 locations as usual, including all middle and high schools.

Local officials have released little information about the cyberattack, except to say that the county police department is working with the FBI and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. The county school system said the attack has affected many parts of its network.

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